My kids have been my kitchen helpers for several years now; I think ever since they were toddlers. I love spending time in the kitchen, and so the kids naturally gravitate towards the kitchen, as well.
My two younger ones are just pre-schoolers here in this photo (this must've been taken in 2010 or even earlier), but they can manage to do a good job helping me roll out
the dough to make cinnamon rolls
the dough to make cinnamon rolls
The kitchen is a fascinating place for my kids. They all grew up seeing me working in there, they smell what's cooking on the stove or inside the oven. They also get first dibs on all the goodies! It's a wonderful place for my kids to spend time cooking together.
As they were growing up, they would want to try out a recipe, and so they'd write it down.
I would indulge their request and make whatever it is they want to make.
The kids always enjoy pizza night because it means making their own pizza!
It wasn't always convenient to invite them into the kitchen to help, especially when they were younger. It required more time and patience on my end, and it does mean a lot more cleaning up to be done.
My daughter helping me spread out the meringue base for the Brazo de Mercedes.
For my second daughter's 5th birthday, she wanted to give sugar cookies to her classmates.
So we busied ourselves baking and decorating her birthday cookies.
But these days since everyone is a lot older and definitely can be independent in the kitchen, it's a joy for all of us to be there together because I also use the time to talk to them about what's going on in their lives. It's a lot of fun as the girls have their fave Spotify playlist in the background, and we are just talking and laughing while cooking... generally, just having a good time in the kitchen. It's just how I imagined my life to be!
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Among my three kids, the one who enjoys cooking as much as me is my second daughter, B. She is usually the one who is up early on weekend mornings, excited to make breakfast for the family.
I thought that letting her experience how to cook in a professional kitchen with a professional cook would surely encourage her interest even more. So together with her best friend, they spent one afternoon at the Epicurean Lab of the Global Academy for a fun afternoon of cooking.
I love how my daughter has found and kept a best friend who shares similar interests with her. They've been best friends and lunch mates since 3 years ago,
and hopefully for many more years to come.
For that day, Chef Erika taught the girls how to do Pork Scallopini and Paella Valenciana.
Chef Erika explains how to handle sharp knives properly to avoid kitchen accidents.
Here are the girls practicing their knife skills, with Chef Erika watching over and
giving immediate feedback.
The finished product!
The girls taking a break after cooking. They get to taste the Paella they just cooked.
The girls proudly showing off their Paella Valenciana!
TIP: Bring lots of containers! They are working on full recipes, and Global Academy doesn't scrimp on ingredients. This means they get to bring home lots of food!
1. Cooking makes kids more willing to try new foods. When kids cook a new food themselves, they are more likely to eat it -- or at least try it. Over time, kids will be more comfortable trying new food.
2. Cooking teaches kids math skills, reading skills and chemistry skills. Following step-by-step instructions is an important reading skill, and using that skill to cook shows kids that reading has very practical benefits. Cooking teaches kids everything from fractions (how a 1/2 cup is bigger than a 1/4 cup) to temperatures (what makes broiling hotter than baking) to geometry (what is a 13 x 9 pan) to chemistry (what is the difference between baking soda and baking powder).
3. Cooking teaches healthy eating. By exposing kids to cooking, you are also teaching them the importance of providing a healthy and balanced meal with nutritious ingredients. Instead of growing up terrified of broccoli and other vegetables, kids will learn to like it from a young age because they help make it.
4. Cooking teaches older kids about budgeting, menu planning and grocery shopping. You can delegate cooking chores to older kids on weekends, and task them to come up with the day's menu. My older daughter has been cooking dinner for the family once a week every summer break. She's been helping me for so many years that cooking on her own is something that she can do on her own already.
5. Cooking is fun and rewarding. Being with kids in the kitchen is already fun and rewarding! I can't wait for the day when I can hang my apron strings, and let them take-over kitchen duties! Hahaha! But nah, it is too much fun when we are all together in the kitchen... spotify playing in the background over laughter and chismis! It's almost too much fun!
About Global Academy
Gloabal Academy offers diploma courses (4 - 12 months) for people who are interested to go full-time as a professional in the culinary industry. On the other hand, the Epicurean Lab offers short courses for people who cannot commit to the lengthy time frame needed by the diploma courses offered by the Global Academy. It is also good to note that the Epicurean Lab is adding seminars for those entrepreneurs who aspire to go into the food business called L.I.F.E. (Lessons in Food Entrepreneurship).
To know more about Global Academy:
To know more about Epicurean Lab