I often have my god-daughter Seaenah visit me in the kitchen and being all cute trying to look grown up while helping me with cooking. Although the first reaction of many parents out there may be “no kids in the kitchen”, it’s actually a lot of fun having them experience the whole process of preparing food. A lot of my friends with kids are worried to have their children running around in the kitchen because it’s not the safest area for kids to play. You turn away for a second and they’ve grabbed a knife, a fork or they are on their way to touch a hot hob.
It can be challenging, I admit it, but it’s totally worth it!
It’s amazing how vividly we remember some of our childhood memories that left a huge impact on us as we were growing up. It’s the same with the bonds we form with food. The sooner we immerse our children in the world of preparing food and make them part of the process, the better it is, as they develop this attitude of gratitude towards food.
Kids are generally curious and it won’t take you time to get them excited about helping you around. It doesn’t have to be difficult at all. Stirring, adding ingredients, turning a blender on and off, tasting and telling you whether to add more sweetener or not… These are all the activities that kids can get engaged in and they will absolutely love it! Knowing where food comes from, in which form and how to transform it into a meal teaches kids to have a healthy relationship with food.
Let me tell you this – kids will be the biggest critics of your cooking skills. I have to thank my son, niece, and god-daughter for some of my best recipes, such as this Chocolate Ganache Cake. Check it out, kids love it!
I remember moments when I was trying to trick my son into wholefood versions of his favourite sweets. You know how kids are – they want to eat something that’s bursting with flavours, something that’s fun and satisfies their taste buds, and if our plant-based meals don’t give them that satiating feeling, they easily find what they need in fast food, unhealthy snacks and sweets full of white sugar and other artificial ingredients.
If you have kids around and want to get them closer to wholefood, you can start slowly with some healthy after-school snacks and then work your way to decadent plant-based desserts that your kids will adore.
I’d love to hear how you and your kids cook together, so share your stories with me. You can find my YouTube channel and share your thoughts or favourite food memories with me there. Don’t forget to subscribe to get notifications every time I have a new recipe or blog coming up.
With love from my kitchen to yours,
Chef Cynthia Louise xx
Chef Cynthia Louise is an Internationally acclaimed MasterChef, speaker, author, restaurant consultant, teacher and television presenter in wholefood, dairy-free cooking. She also has the worlds first online cooking classes focused on dairy-free plant-based whole foods with recipes that people are raving about and changing people's health, one delicious bite at a time. Chef Cynthia loves nothing more than educating people about the simplicity and vitality of a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle. Each dish is like art on a plate and her flavour combinations nourish the soul and get everyone talking.