Get Kids in the Kitchen

 

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It’s a topic that comes up frequently. Whether it’s “how do I get my kids to eat xyz…?” or just about the need to encourage kids to develop some basic skills, there is a giant void in knowledge even on an adult level when it comes to cooking. Some find it daunting, some simply don’t have or don’t make the time to cook. In our westernized culture, eating is often viewed as a chore, and simply something we have to do. There’s quick and easy options, generally none of which are nutritious; and, we cram it in our mouths as quickly as we can and go about our day. In many other cultures, food is a main focal point of daily life, family and relationships.

I grew up in a home where Mom stayed home until I was in 3rd or 4th grade, going out to eat or grabbing takeout was a momentous occasion and we embraced the family meal. We ate what was cooked for dinner. Did my brother and I always like the menu? Of course not; but, that was life. There wasn’t a choice or option of a “kid friendly” entree. Never did we go hungry, we maybe ate cold meals, but this was life as we knew it. To better help us love and appreciate our food and the processes that go into it, not only did we get in the kitchen with our parents, we raised chickens, ducks and geese. I can remember many summers getting up before anyone else, letting the birds out, watering and feeding them. Nurturing them with respect, as food should be treated. Come close to fall, my Dad would go out behind the shed and lop their heads off. My mom would get the antique boiler full of scalding water. We’d dip and pluck all the feathers, gut the birds and get them prepared for freezing. Every summer we’d have a different variation of a garden. We’d pick and can and pick and can some more.

Now that I have a family of my own Justin and I strive to make sure our children appreciate and respect food. As a culture we’ve bastardized so much of it. Sure, every kid will sit down with a bag of chips and a soda and love every minute of it, it’s designed that way; but, do they appreciate it? Where did it come from? The grocery store. But, where did it really come from? It’s too easy to just grab and go, forget to care and stop and think about the origins of food, to stop and enjoy it. From the moment our oldest, Callan, could stand, I had him in the kitchen with me. Now, I live in a much more populated area, without the ability to raise livestock or have a sufficient garden; but, food, food preparation and creativity can still be embraced. Callan’s favorite Christmas present this year was hands down the play-kitchen fully equipped with all the pots and pans, utensils and food a child could want. The moment he even hears me in the kitchen, even if I’m just making coffee, he’s right there, begging to help, tasting and experimenting…and we love it! ❤️

~Katie Coleman~
Co-Founder Eat Fit Life

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