While there are thousands of cookbooks to choose from, there aren’t many that focus on recipes for kids. You’ll find in Fearless Feeding that we touch on ways to build cooking skills in children and teens, as it is one the best skills a child can learn during childhood. Not only does cooking set your child up for a lifetime of success in the kitchen, the skills learned also help build self-esteem.
Take, for instance, my 15 year old, G, who wanted to make dinner the other night, duplicating a pasta recipe she had learned at cooking school. (Hint: another way to grow a love for food and cooking is through cooking camps and classes.) She made pasta with feta and peas—from scratch. She began at 4 pm and pulled it all together for a 7:30 pm dinner. What impressed me most (because I had never done it), was the fact she made the pasta from scratch, cut it by hand, and persevered through one mishap—she doubled the recipe for pasta but the mixer couldn’t handle the volume of dough. Once she put the dinner on the table, we all could see her pride—she did it—by herself!
Are you ready when your child wants to cook? Maybe you’re all set with helping, but what about when your child states he or she wants to fly solo? A cookbook made for kids can be very helpful. One cookbook, called Little Hands in the Kitchen: Fun Food and Cooking for Kids by registered dietitian Peggy Korody, focuses on teaching kids how to cook and deserves a mention. This book covers a lot of groundwork, from describing foods in each food group to taking you on a food tour—through the farmer’s market and the grocery store. Even more appealing, it offers recipes your child can make (and the tools he will need) for main meals and snack time. Peggy manages to offer recipes that appeal to children, while maximizing health quality with some sweets to balance it all out.
Many recipes in this book are suitable for an older child to make independently, and with moderate help from a parent, if younger. You can get your copy here.
Don’t be left to trial and error, or worse, put your child off–be prepared when interest and motivation peak together–that’s the best time to get your child in the kitchen!
What are your child’s favorite recipes to make?