Sunday, May 6, 2018

Unlimited dreaming - The cooking club for kids



I was thinking of doing a little series about my dreams.
Things in life that I really would like to do and achieve. Rainbow's dreamy cloud is not only about a colorful lifestyle, but also about dreaming big.

In this first episode I will introduce you to this dream of mine to start a cooking club with kids professionally.

Why?
 

I love cooking. I was working with kids for a good deal of years. In the last place I worked I introduced 'my kids' to my little cooking club. With limited materials such as only one pit to cook on, and a few tiny pots I wanted to shift the idea of that we would always have to make things from a sugary baking pack. Sure, making cupcakes is a bunch of fun, but I was going for meeting the company's requirements in that we would offer more healthy food.
 

How did I do it?

I did this with kids above the age of 8.
I brought some fresh herbs, stock, tomato's, carrots, onions, and garlic and explained the kids that we were going to make tomato soup that doesn't come from a pack. I walked them through my golden rules:


1. Protect your hand when you cut by tucking in your fingers.
2. You never go near an oven or stove without adult supervision.
3. You can always add spices. But once they are in, they cannot be taken out.
4. Taste before serving. 

After I introduced them to the ingredients of the soup. We talked about them, sniffed the fresh basil. "Hmmm doesn't this smell amazing to start with?" I asked the kids about the basil. Now, I don't know whether they were trying to give me an answer I wanted to hear but they all agreed. I explained that the herbs are what makes whatever you cook magical. I then asked them about the garlic. They thought the smell was too strong. I then continued to say that this garlic is in a lot of things they eat and it's one of those 'herbs' that just smells fantastic once it's in a dish combined with other things. 

I walked them through the combination of the carrot, onion, garlic as a base for our soup. I left out celery this time because it can be a thing kids respond strongly to. To be honest I would actually put it in the soup if they weren't looking and blend the soup so well that they wouldn't know at first that it was in. A little parenting tip from me: anything that's hidden in a dish, they will be more likely to at least try to eat it.
I then divided the cutting tasks between the kids. I asked who was brave enough to cut the onions and a few boys raised their hand. I grinned a little bit to be honest, because they have not been introduced yet to the veggie that makes you cry.

I had written the recipe out for them, and supervised while they were cooking it.
I believe in giving kids as much freedom as they can handle and to offer support where needed. I would never leave them alone with a sharp knife or near a stove. But I will let them use the sharp knife and keep guiding them through using it safely.

I let them make the base of the soup, put in the stock, and had them add a can of tomato's and the fresh herbs. One kid decided that it may work with dried herbs as well and put in a little bit of Italian spice mix and salt and pepper. Like I said they did pretty much everything, but under my supervision. Before serving I gave all the kids a spoon and asked if they were satisfied with the taste. One kid opted that a few basil leaves should be added and so we did. The results were beautiful.

















And guess what? They all loved this tomato soup. Even the kids that told me they didn't like tomato soup.
So why would you reckon this happens? It's because when you involve kids in the complete process of preparing the food you make and have them help they will appreciate it more. I believe in introducing them to fresh ingredients that go in our food and bringing it with a great deal of enthusiasm.
Trust me that this helps. The kids started asking me pretty much every week if we were going to do more cooking.
Following up: I would ask the kids what we were going to make the next week. I had them look for a recipe, make a shopping list, took them to the supermarket and we would get our cooking on.

The future dream

Here's my vision. Since I stopped working with children there's this burning desire to go back and do it all over again.
I know really going back is not an option, so I would like to have this place that has all the materials I need to bring my vision alive. Such as big working surfaces, enough cooking pits, pots and pans, kitchen machine, blender, mixer and of course a pantry full of necessities.


My mission in a nutshell:
- Get kids involved with the food they eat.
- Make them proud of accomplishing something they see as a task for adults. By giving them freedom, but under the supervision of an adult.

- Help them to be familiar with all sorts of fresh ingredients.
- Introduce cooking as something magical where you create.
- Having them understand and appreciate the foods they consume.
- My hope: that kids that have a mixed relationship with body image versus food will enjoy healthy and homemade food.

I would work with a group of maximum 8-10 kids. I would adjust my lessons to the age group of course.
And I would like to work with a theme related workshop. Think about making the sauces that kids love from scratch. A home made ketchup? Yes! Garlic sauce? Yum!
I would prepare food with them that goes well with their homemade things.
We could also do a the theme: unfamiliar foods. Things that you just don't eat every day and discovering new veggies and fruits.
I think food and cooking is a big part of the upbringing. If you teach kids to expand their horizon on one level you can also bring this as a little life lesson. Just like trying new foods, we try new things in life generally.
 

So there it is: my big dream
A cooking club with kids. I hope you enjoyed the first episode of my series - unlimited dreams. 


What is a dream that you would like to achieve? 
Don't be afraid to dream out that vision. Show it to me! 

Love and blessings,
Rainbow





13 comments:

  1. I love your idea of cooking with kids! It sounds like the tomato soup was a great success and it looked delicious too. It’s a brilliant way to give kids the basic cookery skills and encourage them to eat healthy too! I really hope your dream comes true Rainbow, great post, really enjoyed reading it 💖 xx

    Bexa | www.hellobexa.com

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    1. Thank you Bexa, me too!!! I really want to do this. It will be fantastic! :)

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  2. This sounds fantastic! It's great kids in the kitchen, not only is it an essential life skill but it can reinforce so much about health and nutrition in such a fun way for them. I wish you the best of luck with this, I really hope it works out, it's a brilliant idea x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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    1. Yes to all of that hun :) I think it betters the whole relationship with food in general and it's such a creative thing too. I learned so much about cooking from the boyfriend that I wish i'd known sooner and through all the meal creating I learned which flavors combine well. All things I want to bring across in a fun way.

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  3. Teaching kids the basics of cooking is something that is so important to me because both my English family and my Italian family introduced me to cooking as a kid and now I’m pretty good in the kitchen! I love this idea and think your dream holds some real potential, thanks for sharing lovely xx

    Itsallzara.co.uk

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    1. Ahhh! See, your family has the wisdom in that :) It made you a good cook ^^
      Now that i've written about this dream i just want it more and more

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  4. This is such a great idea!! It’s rewarding for you but also having them help out will really give them a sense of achivement - glad to hear that the soup was a success! x

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    1. That is such an important thing Lorna, I fully agree.
      They just feel so proud because they achieved something really grown up. :)

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  5. I really like this series! It's promoting positivity and motivate you to go forward with what you want to do. It's exciting that you're having your kids involved in preparing food. It's very educational and I hope the kids will make the most out of it. Haha, I totally agree with hiding foods in a dish. I trick myself to this day to eat more veggies XD. Sending you lots of positivity to keep this going :)

    https://exquisitely.me

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    1. Wow thank you so much <3 Haha! I love that you use that trick on yourself. It's a great one. And it's easier to feed the kids the veggies that way. Generally I find they dont like eating anything green, except for that one kid. When I asked him what to cook next he answered: green pesto. Much to my suprise. The whole group loved it too. Many of them had never had it.

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  6. This is such a great idea to let children appreciate fresh, home cooked food! Looking forward to the next episode of the series,
    Love,
    Anjali
    http://www.laughingmirror.com/

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    1. Thank you so much hun :)
      It is a beautiful process that I dearly miss and want to get back to. As soon as I have a plan ready, I am sure all the rest falls in place for it.

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  7. This sounds fabulous! My parents were never really into cooking so my own skills are somewhat limited but I do try my best to pass what I know into the kids it’s such an important life skill. Great post I hope you achieve the dream and keep this going .

    Melanie | www.frasersfunhouse.com

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