Archive for the ‘Cooking for children’ Category
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.
With all of us being so aware with just how much it costs to feed a family, giving your children an appreciation of the cost of food is essential.
Usually, but not always, it is cheaper to eat at home, and I thought it is worth sharing how I got Claire to figure that out for herself…
While Claire was making bacon and egg pie – I was in the kitchen and we were just chatting away when I commented I thought it might be interesting to see how much it cost to make. Not being at all interested in the cost of anything that I paid for, I was surprised when she agreed. Together we chatted away and divided the cost of the pastry by two, halved the egg carton cost, worked out the proportion of the pack of bacon she had used, and made a calculated guess of how much the potatoes and tomatoes cost. She mentally added it all up and divided it by how many hungry kids she thought it would feed. She came to the conclusion that it was a pretty fair price and when she is living in a flat that would be an economical meal to make for dinner. We left it at that.
A few days later she burst through the front door hardly able to contain herself… “Mum I was in a café in town and I saw a scungy piece of bacon and egg pie for sale. It cost MORE for one piece than it cost for me to make it for six people – and it looked all dry like it had been made a few days ago”.
She got it. By herself. Sow the seed and they will work it out.
Sometimes when we are working away so passionately on a project you tend to think that we are on our own – Over the past couple of days we have had articles on the JO website – we really enjoyed being part of a bigger community all working toward similar goals… pop over to his site to see it in context or you can read the article below!
Teen showing the way for kids to become food savvy
If you are a teen the last thing you need is another adult telling you what to do and how to do it… that happens enough at college and at home. There are a lot of kids out there who want to know more about food who want to hear about it from someone like them.
Claire Gourley, 18-year-old New Zealand teen, is sharing her food journey with other kids. Claire is not motivated by a desire to cook or a thirst for nutrition knowledge. No. She just likes great tasting food and wants to look and feel good. She has worked out that she needs to know enough about food to be 100% responsible for her own health.
Claire has developed swag of resources to inspire and motivate other kids. She has a website itsmyturntocooktonight.com, some cookbooks, done lots of media work and has recently added a school holiday cooking program to help her share her ideas with other kids.
When she started this project she could cook about four or five meals. She is a typical teenager because she’s not a ‘foodie’ and she doesn’t want to be a chef. She loves food but like most kids her age she is always busy with friends, school and sport and can’t really be bothered spending too much time or effort on cooking. When it comes to food – she’s interested … but really only in eating it!
However she doesn’t want to settle for average food – she likes great tasting food that is good for her. Her byline is ‘I don’t do complicated’ she has always thought that if she can do it, other kids can too. Simple and quick is good!
Like most kids, Claire doesn’t like her parents hovering around like a helicopter when she is learning something so whatever she does has to include the answers to questions that most kids are thinking – before they have to ask – like ‘How much water to put in the pot?’, ‘Does it matter if it is hot or cold?’, ‘Which vegetables take longer to cook in a stir fry?’, ‘What do they mean by stock?’ So Claire builds these answers into both her recipes and her YouTube’s. She thinks you are best to assume nothing!
When it comes to nutrition Claire has been inspired by the message that you don’t need to know how a light bulb works to get the benefit of it – so similarly she doesn’t have to understand all the science about nutrition and food either to reap the benefits. By keeping to simple things like eating a wide range of foods, knowing most portion sizes are about as big as your fist, that fruit and vegetables are really good for you and that high fat, high sugar foods are treat only, she has been able to adopt excellent nutrition practices without getting hung up on the details. Like most kids she thinks nutrition can be boring and is too negative and bossy. It has been her goal to keep her tips positive and get kids to understand that if you do pig out on some high fat, high sugar food – which they no doubt will – then you need to swing things the other way the next day or pop on your running shoes and move!
Bio: Claire Gourley is an 18-year-old New Zealander who loves to eat and talk. She has worked with her mother, food educator Glenda Gourley, to combine both these passions to create a program to inspire other kids to become food savvy. You can find our more about Claire at itsmyturntocooktonight.com
We now clearly have two lines of strategy and communication…
- adult to adult (www.TeachChildrenToCook.com – you are here!!)
- teen to teen (www.ItsMyTurnToCookTonight.com)
These both work in tandem to support each other. I think the easiest way to share what we are doing is to show you diagrammatically… (if the font is too small for you to read , just click on them to enlarge)
So off each site we have two blogs, two newsletters, some specific resources and also a lot that are in common – like the cookbooks, YouTubes.
Vision : to help parents and teachers teach kids to cook
Vision : to inspire teenagers to cook
I really value the feedback and suggestions, so please ‘ keep your ideas coming’ … This is such a big and important area to tackle, I can use all the help you can offer!!
Wow! I was so impressed when I popped in to see the Maggi Intermediate Schools Kitchen Showdown in Auckland this week. What a great concept – at this regional final there were 20 schools who each had a team of 4 kids competing to prepare a meal in 50 minutes. The standard from these 11 and 12 year olds was extraordinarily high! The parents, teachers and competition organizers who prepared these children need a medal.
Claire has been lucky enough to join the Maggi team as one of the three judges. She has been overwhelmed how enthusiastic and competent these children are. The semi-finals and finals are being shown on TV 2′s The Erin Simpson Show.
The past few months have been really hectic as I have redesigned our sites and made them easier for you to navigate. In between that Claire and I have written her new hard copy book Who’s cooking tonight? – which is due out in a couple of months.
I would really appreciate your feedback on both this site and Claire’s - as with everything we do - it could always be better… so your thoughts are important to me.
I look forward to supporting you to inspire your child to getting into the kitchen – let me know if I can help!
Encouraging kids to cook
It’s a passion of mine to see more teenagers developing food skills – encompassing a whole raft of issues from cooking, preparation, nutrition, budgeting and taking personal responsibility for what they eat. In developing this project with my daughter Claire, I have been overwhelmed by the support and encouragement from parents and health professionals. Many have made comments like ‘we really need to do this’, ‘this is so important’, ‘I couldn’t agree more’ and ‘this is exactly what is needed’.
Claire is a typical teenager who likes eating good food – she’s not a real foodie, she doesn’t aspire to be a chef - so odds are she is exactly like your teenager – food is important to her -but shes not a passionate cook so if there is a quick and easy way to get results without mucking around she wants to know it – and it was on this basis we have developed this strategy… other teenagers can relate to her.
I have come to conclusion – if anyone can motivate teens – Claire can. It’s time you met her!
Go to the ABOUT CLAIRE tab (above) and you can watch a video she has made about why she has done this…
There has been a lot of talk in foodie circles that we need to ‘get back to basics’ with children and teach them basic food skills but actually I don’t think we need to get right back to basics – we can start a bit further along the track without cooking from scratch yet still get awesome results. There are fantastic products that have simplified everything – things like sauces, pastes and dressings. It’s a long time since I have made a curry from scratch or a lasagne without the addition of a wonderful pasta sauce – so I certainly wouldn’t expect my teenagers to do so!
We can have the best of both worlds – great tasting food with a minimum of effort – let someone else do all the hard work (don’t have to spend much time convincing a teenager of this!!)
However the skill comes in knowing how to add the ‘extras’ to create a stunning meal… how to add fresh vegetables to the sauce, serve with a salad, a stir-fry, knowing how to boil rice or potatoes, or roast some vegetables.
Experience and practice gives our children the confidence to tie all this together, to get the timing right and to discover that cooking actually is not a burden but can be a bit of fun. It’s my Turn to Cook teaches those skills.
My vision in the development of It’s my Turn to Cook! is to inspire teenagers to ‘give cooking a go’. All of the recipes we developed for the eBook are easy to make – we have tested them with lots of teenagers and know that they will easily make them and more importantly – they will like the taste of them. We have kept everything light hearted and you can tell Claire really has had fun. Her enthusiasm is infectious!
The specific objectives of this project are to impart food skills, to treat food as ‘part of the package of a healthy lifestyle’, to understand the importance of good food choices and to develop self responsibility.
So whilst the planning of project is very defined, and serious in intent, the delivery aims to present in a manner that teenagers will enjoy and respond to. We are confident It’s my Turn to Cook! can make a difference.
If you scan back through the posts to this blog that I started just before Christmas you will quickly understand my philosophy to inspiring teenagers to cook – in a nutshell I believe that teenagers that have great food preparation skills are at an advantage over those that don’t.
As a parent I want to give my child every advantage I possibly can in life – so quickly scan my five reasons why 2010 is the year to encourage them to become a successful cook and my five reasons why 2010 is the year they need to know more about food.
It’s my Turn to Cook is the result of over 20 years in nutrition and food education, frustration that eating habits of our children seem to be getting worse and a sickening realization that most traditional strategies of inspiring teenagers simply don’t work well enough or long enough to make a difference.
Thinking fun, great taste, no ‘don’t eat this’, no ‘don’t do this’, light-hearted messages and utilising technology have become my motto!
You are currently browsing the archives for the Cooking for children category.
Special Recent Posts
The last School Holiday Program was a crammed with fun and learning as kids got more food savvy!