Many kids are keen to get in the kitchen, but only to do baking. Whilst we don’t want our kids only cooking high fat, high sugar foods, if it captures engagement and enthusiasm, then I say ‘bake that cake and create some memories’!
The crucial next step is to harness this excitement and make a transition to cooking meals.
I ran a very unscientific survey by asking lots of friends and family what were first positive memories of cooking. Overwhelmingly they were around baking, things like the smell of cookies coming from the kitchen, licking the bowl, helping mix or getting your hands covered in flour. Without exception these people went on to be quite competent cooks. I think there is something there…
So don’t be dismissive if your kids want to bake, but maybe set some ground rules, “sure you can do some baking do you want to try to do a meal as well”, or maybe get them to work alongside you while you cook dinner, and they do dessert. Getting your children competent in the kitchen will take many experiences. It’s always my belief to start with something they love and build it from there…
Let them eat cake
Food memories created for 1000 families
Claire cajoled and inspired over 1000 kids from all over the place to cook dinner for their families last school holidays. As a result over 1000 families sat down to an It’s My Turn to Cook Tonight Bosch School Holiday Program dinner. It’s a simple model, the children were shown online how to cook easy and delicious meals and then challenged to create a memory by serving it at an over-the-top table setting. From colour themes to countries, and elegant dinner parties to teddy bear picnics – the children chose their own theme, which ended up being as varied, as they were imaginative.
Part of the magic is that Claire is not only able to motivate them to cook, she also inspires them to turn off the TV, put on some music and have some fun with their families and friends. This approach has hit a chord with the kids and their parents.
Claire hosts another program next school holidays on 15 – 17 July. Claire slips in all sorts of foodie things – like making good food choices, reading labels, kitchen safety, budgeting, nutrition tips, food jokes plus they gain confidence both in the kitchen and on the computer. She sends them to do challenges – like a mid-winter picnic and random acts of food kindness – all designed to give kids practical food skills as well as a deeper understanding of food while they have a bit of fun.
More details www.itsmyturntocooktonight.com
A fun afternoon!
Friday afternoon and we had dreadful weather throughout the entire country – so it was a bit of a squeeze battling the traffic, getting home from school and being online by 4pm! Anyway, despite that, lots of kids joined in and there were some extremely grateful parents who got dinner cooked!! Claire shared two recipes – Creamy Fish Pie or Cottage Pie and the kids ripped into it! We showed YOuTubes, had live chats and the kids posted progress photos as they cooked… it was great!
We also asked a lot of questions and found:
1.Kids STRONGLY AGREE that a cooking session like this helps them learn about food and cooking
2. Kids STRONGLY AGREE or AGREE that they like this sort of session and seeing what other kids are doing
3. MOST kids are DEFINITELY keen to have a regular weekly cooking session like this. And the two preferred days are Friday and Sunday.
WOW – that sort of feedback gives us something to think about when we do our planning – will keep you posted with what I come up with!!!
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO MISSED THE SESSION ON FRIDAY 17TH
Go HERE and see what they got up to!
Food Revolution Day is a global day of action for people everywhere to celebrate real food, where it comes from and how to cook it.
We are hosting a cooking session for kids. Claire will help kids make a lip smacking dinner, have a LIVE chat where they can post pictures of themselves cooking and share what they are up to!
Claires will share two recipes – they are both CLASSICS and COMFORT FOOD. No matter which one kids choose – by the end of the hour together they will be able to make the BEST mashed potatoes and the best ever pie!!! Plus they will learn how to hold on to a knife, cut an onion, make a white sauce and substitute vegetables!
So what is it to be – Creamy Fish Pie or Cottage Pie… make a decision, get the food in (all details of what you need on Claire site) and join Claire from 4 – 5 pm on 17 May!!! On www.itsmyturntocooktonight.com. This session is based on the very successful It’s My Turn To Cook Bosch School Holiday Program.
Food Revolution Day is a day to come together to keep cooking skills alive, improve our food knowledge and share it with others! There intent is exactly the same as ours so joining something bigger makes so much sense!!
Mark 17 May in your diary…
Claire will be running an afternoon cooking session at 4pm 17 May on her site. It will run pretty much like our school holiday cooking program and will be a short, sharp and seriously fun session!!
More details will follow – but she will have kids cooking up a family meal - we are thinking of something that is totally iconically Kiwi!
This will be our second year of supporting this day.
We are so excited that Claire is hosting our 4th program and this time, due to the generosity of our sponsors, we can offer it FREE to every kid – as long as they have internet coverage!
This is what you need to know!
There are no fees to participate. There are great prizes for the kids and parents go in the draw to win a fabulous BOSCH dishwasher.
This program is UNIQUE and available ANYWHERE there is Internet coverage. This means parents have no travelling, no pick ups or drop offs – kids learn to cook in their own home, using their food, cooking their dinner. Location is no barrier to participation.
Kids love it
The program is hosted by teen Claire Gourley. She has the ability to motivate and inspire kids to share her food discovery journey. Feedback from kids on the previous three online programs is extremely positive.
Uses technology wisely
Kids love participating in live-chats, uploading images, watching You Tubes and making Internet cooking buddies. We ensure it is in a safe environment and we veto any comments before they are posted. Activities are designed to keep data use to a minimum.
Program is flexible – kids from a huge age range (5 – 16) join in.
We have mums, dads, caregivers and grandparents all having fun with their kids. We also have a lot of kids who are over 14 who join in by themselves interacting with Claire, and others who get a friend over to cook and do the challenges together. During the program families and friends from up and down the country sit down to an It’s My Turn To Cook Tonight dinner!
It’s more than just cooking
We slip in all sorts of other foodie things – like making good food choices, reading labels, kitchen safety, budgeting, nutrition tips, food jokes plus they gain confidence both in the kitchen and on the computer. We send them to do challenges – like over-the-top table settings and random acts of food kindness – all fun activities designed to give kids practical food skills as well as a deeper understanding of food.
Kids who are food savvy have a huge advantage
Research shows kids who have practical food skills are far more likely to make better food choices. Kiwi kids need to be encouraged and supported to make good food choices.
Runs April 22-24 (also 15-17 July & 1-3 October)
Each program has a different theme – the April theme is quick food.
Find out more
Claire and I have spent much of her university holidays working on new publications for you – this first one is now available. We are so excited as this is great techonolgy and a fantastic way to motivate your child. We think this is a big step for us as we move with the times and keep up with technologies your kids are being exposed to.
William, my younger son has just gone into a class at school which is blended learning with iPad as the central focus – and he is loving it… I know your kids will love this cookbook format!
This first book has a focus on food for good weather – light summery food, barbecues, salads and in Claires style of course there are some sweet treats too!
I have five review copies to give away – if you would like a free copy to review please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Teenager Claire Gourley shares her food discovery journey with easy, quick recipes and tips to get kids food savvy. For kids aged 9 – 16, this book reflects Claire’s food motto – “I don’t do complicated” and is all about making cooking fun and achievable.
Claire recipes work, taste great and are really really easy. If she didn’t find them reliable, tasty and easy, she ditched them! She has added lots of photos, tips and things kids will probably want answered as they are cooking… for anything a bit tricky she links to her YouTubes.
Claire wants to know enough about food to take good care of herself. She figures lots of kids are the same as her – they love eating food but they’re always busy with friends, school and sport, so they can’t really be bothered spending too much time cooking – but that doesn’t mean want to settle for average food!
It’s My Turn To Cook takes kids on Claire’s food journey as she has worked out what she needs to know to get food savvy! She has gathered quick, easy recipes made a lot of YouTubes, and asked a lot of questions. She intertwines food and nutrition tips so that while kids are cooking they also get skills to make good food choices.
Many cookbooks are written by adults for adults and while they may look beautiful they are often boring… Claire doesn’t do boring!! This informal chatty approach has much appeal with kids of all ages.
The other two titles are now finishing off are
- It’s My Turn to Cook Quick Food and
- It’s My Turn to Cook Bread
Cooking is one of the few skills that can cross many boundaries and really influence a child’s development. Studies show a child who can cook is more likely to make better food choices – better food choices. So a child who can cook is on the road to being food savvy.
It is not only a soufflé that rises when a child cooks for their family… When a child masters a skill there are lots of outcomes.
- gains self-esteem
- gains a sense of importance
- feels they are able to make a meaningful contribution to their family
- is proud of their achievement
- is better equipped to look after themselves
- is able to look after others
- gains confidence and competence
- feels empowered to try more complex tasks
- is able to use preparing food as an act of service
- is able to use food as a means of expressing love
- develops self-management skills
- develops self-discipline
- develops self -espect
- develops budgeting skills.
I struggle to think of another set of everyday skills that directly impacts a child’s development and health.
Consider the three different perspectives below… mine, a teen’s and that of a younger child.
5 Reasons to cook – from my perspective
- Success builds a child’s self-esteem and confidence – cooking is no exception.
- A sense of contribution, belonging, importance and pride develops as children master skills – cooking is an excellent way to foster this.
- Learning about food fosters personal responsibility – you can feel confident that your children will be better equipped to look after themselves.
- Cooking is a life skill. It’s like riding a bike – once they have ‘got it’ they are away.
- You can get the odd night off!
5 Reasons to cook – from a teenage perspective
- You don’t have to put up with food you don’t like – you call the shots!
- It feels great if you can cook for friends and family – lots of compliments are good!
- Being able to cook gives you leverage… ‘If I cook dinner, can I borrow the car? Money for the movies? New shoes?’
- Knowing you can cook is quite empowering. You can make good food choices so you can get better skin, have more energy, be at a good weight – it’s all your choice.
- It’s quite good fun cooking!
5 Reasons to cook – from a tween’s perspective
- You can eat the ingredients while you are cooking and then get to choose the best piece.
- Your mum gets in a good mood if you help (cringe – this was a sage observation from my youngest son!).
- You can make sure what is being cooked is something you like.
- If you do the cooking you don’t have to help with the clean up.
- It’s fun cooking.
The thought of learning a new life skill will simply not engage the average kid – especially when described as a life skill. However you start talking about something they want or need and you have their total attention.
I have found deal-making works well. Along the lines of ‘If I do this for you, could you do this for me’. You may be surprised to find how kids respond to this; many are masters of negotiation in other things so they will quickly work it out. I think it is quite funny when my children say one of the main reasons they wanted to be able to cook was because it gave them leverage. That’s fine if that’s what motivates them. It also has helped our family operate more like a team with everyone contributing.
Ironically, often as parents we have to buy things for our kids anyway. Take a special pair of shoes for example. Both parties win if you suggest that if they cook dinner each Tuesday they will be able to get those shoes. This is not bribery. Bribery implies that one person wins and the other loses. This is far better than that – there are winners all round. Your child learns a skill for a lifetime, they get the shoes, the family bond grows stronger and you get a night off – it’s the epitome of a win:win situation.
No matter what perspective you are coming from
the outcome is the same –
your child gets a skill for a lifetime
which is undoubtedly to
his or her advantage.
It has been a year of holiday programs, lots of happy kids cooking and getting food savvy… Claire and I feel like we have just begun to scratch the surface as there is just so many kids who want to learn so they can fully equip themselves… These are exciting times as we further develop our eBooks, streamline our holiday programs…
I look forward to helping you get your kids more food savvy in 2013! Best wishes for a lovely family time over the holidays. You can still download the free resources of yesterdays programs by clicking on the book or going here.
PS… This little video is a snapshot of our holiday program… it was so cool to see the children so happily involved!
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The last School Holiday Program was a crammed with fun and learning as kids got more food savvy!