Teaching kids cooking is really exactly the same as teaching adults cooking. With different approaches to sharp knives and fire. Kids just play more with the food and exhibit a deep sense of enthusiasm about every step of the way. This element of play is essential to having fun in the kitchen over the long haul. Playfulness helps make cooking a sustainable habit for your health.
“Who likes bacon?” (I say to a pair of two 9 year old boys in my class)
“Yaaay! I do! We’re making a bacon pizza for breakfast! This is so cool!”
Enthusiasm wins. In reality we made this dairy free egg frittata with local spinach and bacon. But to this young chef, it was a bacon pizza (recipe here!) that happen to be comprised of egg and spinach without a lick of cream or cheese. It’s all a matter of perspective, in the kitchen as with in life in general. Follow recipes, or just play with a new technique.
Cooking is messy. You get your hands in there, play with water to wash vegetables, sing a little while prepping ingredients, and throw everything together. Laughter adds some flavor. Life slows down a little.
You use your hands, you taste as you go. Try this cocoa power ball recipe to practice getting your hands dirty for a delicious cause.
In some cases, however unadvisable, you wait to do the dishes until the very end, making a monstrous dish pile that requires yet another song to sing to make it a little more fun. You clean up, and something tangible is complete. You have something delicious to share. Life is good.
And that’s just it: cooking requires a little suspension of time away from other pressing adult responsibilities. You have to focus and slow down to get it done.
Even if it takes cooking alongside someone small, who can help you remember the importance of play in life in general. Especially in the kitchen.