“It’s a program that allows parents to participate with their children in the discovery of a variety of fruits and vegetables, and preparing food in an interesting and appealing way. The children learn and develop basic food preparation skills, and get the opportunity to try the food that they’re preparing. We also integrate children’s literature by reading a story that relates to the food that we’ll be exploring.”
By participating in this 2-hour event, children aged 2-6 can gain a wide array of cooking and kitchen skills.
“The more children are involved in meal preparation, the more likely they are to try new food and make healthier choices later on. We all know a picky eater, whether it be our own child or someone else that we know, so it does help with these little people to experience more flavors, more foods and they’re more likely to try them.”
Even though children can expand their knowledge and passion for food and cooking, Benton adds that the kids will be learning important life skills as well.
“We know that children learn best from their senses, so they learn by touching the food, by smelling the food, and then there’s also the development of essential skills. They develop skills in reading, following directions, and then numeracy [such as] measuring the ingredients. Through the cutting and the pouring, [the children] develop hand-eye coordination as well as fine-motor skills.”
Parents will not be left out of the learning zone. Benton says parents also learn new things by participating in this program.
“The parents are going to learn that their children are extremely competent in the kitchen. I think we sometimes underestimate what our children are able to do, and then the parents actually observe what their child actually can do, and they get really excited to see how [their child] can develop, and how they can actually help in the kitchen.”
The first session of “Cooking with your Kids” is scheduled for Wednesday July 11th, 2018 from 1:00-3:00pm at the Childreach center. There are more sessions scheduled for the rest of summer.
Interested families can get more information or sign up on Childreach’s website (childreach.on.ca)