Kids can cook! How to teach your kids about real food

Kids can cook! How to teach your kids about real food

Carolann McCann

Welcome to our kitchen! As parents to 7 kids you can imagine the time we spent cooking and cleaning! For my husband and I, we both came from families where gathering around the table was part of life. The meals spent around the table remains a large part of our life. As we began to use intermittent fasting as a tool for disease reversal, we soon realized that the meal time still had to go on. Our kids do not fast, they feast! For our family it was important to maintain this daily ritual even if Mom and Dad were not eating. 

With a table set for 9 it was important that we included our kids in the meal prep. If nothing else, it kept the little ones busy. Kids love colour* and getting their hands into things, don't be afraid to let them into your cooking space. I can honestly say, clean up is part of the process, so teach them to not only prepare but also how to put away. Believe me, you will thank me later.

Small kids can be a big help with meal planning if they are too small. Ask them about some of their favorite foods, what they like to taste, whether they like it hot or cold etc. As kids grow, they can be great helpers to the cook. Get them cutting and chopping, rinsing and washing vegetables. Our youngest girls, they are twins, are some of the best salad makers I have ever seen. Not only is she able to make beautiful presentation, she knows how to make the salad dressing fresh from scratch each time. True be told, I still ask her to make the dressing because she makes it better than mine!

Lead and teach by example. It doesn't have to be fancy and time consuming, it just has to taste good. Kids will soon discover their own specialties and develop a love for cooking. 

Part of teaching how to cook is knowing what to cook. Teach you kids to read labels, and whenever possible take the time to allow them to explore the grocery store with you, and get them reading labels. In no time at all they will see what makes a good meal even better! 

Getting away from processed foods and sugary foods takes time. If you feel overwhelmed my best advice is to start slowly. Choose a place in your kitchen where you can begin to make low carb decisions. Perhaps you might begin in the refrigerator reading labels on condiments. So many hidden sugars there. Maybe you will start in the pantry and evaluate the choices there. Things like bagels and muffins were hard to do without in our house. We soon found alternatives and with each new choice our kids began to show signs of the benefits. 

What benefits you ask?

-sleeping better

-not sick as often

-no more ear infections

-kids started doing better in school

-energy went up

-kids were kind to one another

I hear you when you say "It's not easy" and I agree, however the results are worth it in the end.

Happy cooking!

I hope you have been inspired to get busy with your kids in the kitchen and teaching them about real food 

* I'm Canadian!