I believe kids should be involved in the preparation and cooking of food as much as possible. Obviously I don’t have children as I’m making this sound like an easy thing to do! I do though have two nieces and a nephew that I adore, two of which I was lucky to have stay the night on the weekend. So naturally for dinner, I wanted to get them involved. I pondered what to cook…meatballs or pizza came to mind. Both hands on but the pizza won due to the creative aspect that it can also involve. Let a child design a pizza and it becomes artwork.
I had previously seen the success of having kids being hands on in the kitchen when I volunteered with the Healthy Kids Association earlier in the year. It is a fabulous charity organisation that not only works with school canteens and food manufacturers to improve the food supply to children but also works within the community including education to parents and cooking classes for children. I was involved in their cooking class for children where you guessed it, they made pizza and smoothies. I couldn’t believe the change in attitude the children had towards vegetables from the start of the cooking class to the end. I learned the value of having children involved in the preparation and cooking of food. How if they identify where the produce comes from, they are likely to have a greater appreciation and willingness to try the food. It was a powerful message and one that I’ll always fondly remember.
Here is the story of our own pizza night, where pepperoni was quickly forgotten and replaced by the simply joy of making one’s own pizza:
- Making the base, the best form of play-dough
- Preparing a colourful selection of vegetables
- Painting with tomato paste
- The artwork is complete
- Funny faces, just because you can
- Dinner’s ready!
Once again I was amazed by the shift in attitude towards the vegetables on the pizza. They were so pleased that they had made their own shape with the dough and prepared the vegetables that they couldn’t help but want to eat their pizza creation.
Try and get your children in the kitchen or if you don’t have children, get your nieces, nephews, friends, neighbours involved and help spread healthy eating habits to our little ones 🙂