The Culinary Arts
Are you raising the pickiest eater in the world or the next Julia Child? Either way, cooking with your child is a wonderful way to engage your picky eater or gourmand in selecting and preparing meals for the family. For whatever reason, kids are more likely to eat what they have cooked, even if it is the very meal they refused the week before.
Having your child involved in menu planning and purchasing before even starting the cooking is another way to both increase their involvement and interest in the foods we eat. A great literacy activity is to give your child the flyers from the grocery store and let them develop the list of items you will buy. They can cut out the pictures and glue them onto a list, or copy the words down on paper, whatever is developmentally right for your child. Starting with a few cookbooks that they can relate to will also help in developing your shopping list and engaging your junior chef in the process. Here are some child friendly cookbooks to consider.
Children will be inspired by this young chef and his vibrantly illustrated cookbook. Twist it up by Jack Witherspoon is a collection of recipes by this 11 year old and his mother. Confined to the hospital for leukemia treatments at the age of 6, Jack became enamoured with the Food Network, and a future chef was born. This book includes stories and photgraphs and has a broad range of recipes, some quite complex. Adult assisstance is needed, but the book is inspiring on many levels and the results are well worth the effort.
This next book attacks cooking from a scientific point of view. Do Try This at Home: Cook It by Jon Milton, explains the science behind why beating eggs and using baking powder makes the food rise, among other things. This is a tasty way to explain simple science concepts, and a great hook for that reluctant eater who does appreciate the scientific approach. This is only one book in a series of books that looks at easy science concepts for kids. You might want to check out the other books in this series as well.
And for those parents or caregivers that are willing to engage the very youngest children in cooking adventures, this easy to follow recipe book is a must try. The Toddler Cookbook by Annabele Karmel has simple recipes with very few ingredients that will have your children feeling like a chef in no time. There are abundant photographs and detailed illustrations that will add to the overall experience and have you and your child creating culinary delights in no time.
There are over 199 resources for cooking with children in our online catalogue, including vegetarian offerings, campfire recipes and holiday cookbooks. Take some time to look at what is available and get cooking with your child, you will be amazed at the fun you will have (and the mess that is made...good opportunity to teach about cleaning up as well!). Let us know your favourite recipes you either have tried with your kids or you remember making when you were young. Maybe we can start a recipe swap!