Summer is starting to wind down around here. We have two more weeks before we dig out the books and start my 14th year of homeschooling. That number makes me slightly queasy. I’ve graduated one child, but I have four more to go. That means 11 more years. Now, I’m definitely queasy.
You know something that helps me keep all the irons in the fire? Kids cooking. I made the best decision ever when my oldest was about 11. I signed her up for an online cooking class. Every week we watched a video together, printed out the recipe, and made an entire meal. Together.
And now? She’s a great cook! She cooks dinners, lunches, and desserts. She’s a really great dessert chef. Need cookies for a meeting tomorrow? Bam! She bakes them. She’s even made a little money on the side baking for friends’ parties.
Now, sure, I could have taught her to cook all by myself without a video course, but here’s the thing. We would have been cooking my way. While I know my way is the highway, that doesn’t mean I could effectively translate it all to her without just pushing her out of the way and doing it myself. Ha!
The video course we took started out with basics, like measuring flour, and proceeded to cooking eggs, quiche, burgers, and even roasting a chicken. Yep, I can call ahead and have dinner waiting when I get home. Roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans. Better than a restaurant!
Jealous? Don’t be. Because you can do it, too! The video course that we took all those years ago is sadly retired, but Katie at Kitchen Stewardship has produced an outstanding video series for kids. Kids Cook Real Food is a self-paced course that you can take with your children.
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If you’re not ready for your child to take over the kitchen with a whole meal, that’s fine. Katie’s course still teaches younger children how to become helpers in the kitchen. Yeah, like she teaches them how to cut vegetables. I know giving a child a knife is heat-attack inducing, but my kids could peel carrots and potatoes by the time they were five. There’s really not much chance of them cutting off a finger with a vegetable peeler. And enlisting their help early makes working in the kitchen a fun game. It invests them in dinner time, so they are often eager to eat what they’ve helped prepare.
Let’s look at the pros for kids cooking:
- fewer fights over eating a meal,
- help preparing a meal,
- time spent together making memories, and
- imparting real life skills they will use the rest of their lives (a future spouse will think you’re the best mother-in-law ever!).
The series is divided into three parts: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. They will start out learning how to measure ingredients, making a salad, and blending spice mixes. Then, they’ll move on to making homemade salad dressings, cooking rice, and browning ground beef. We’re getting crazy here! Before long, they’re sautéing vegetables, crushing garlic, and making a cheese sauce. Can you believe it?
There are eight weeks of classes taught for three different age levels. More than 30 kitchen skills with more than 45 videos are taught throughout the series. This is a VERY in-depth series.
I seriously can’t think of any reasons to not teach your kids to cook. Sure, the kitchen may be a bit messier, but think of this as an investment. One day, you will have worked yourself out of a job. Personally, I’m looking forward to sitting on the couch and yelling into the kitchen demanding to know when dinner will be ready.
If you’re wondering what to do with the rest of the summer because it’s so stinking hot, then this is a great activity to kill some time until school starts.
Or, if you’re a homeschooler like me, you can work this course into your curriculum. Real life skills is the best class ever!
In addition to the cooking class, Katie offers a Knife Skills class. Sooner or later, everyone has to learn to handle a knife. Most of us do it by trial and error. Instead of learning the hard way, this course teaches knife safety and quick and effective ways to dice up veggies. Knife skills is on sale right now for $7! Hurry over and snag it right now!
Hope the rest of your summer is spectacular! Let me know what you have planned!
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