Teach Your Kid to Cook

Before we get to the kids cooking let’s talk a little bit about your kid’s eating habits. Here is a guest post from holistic nutritionist Kate Leinweiber.

Sometimes kids can be picky, and picky eating can lead to nutrient deficiencies and enzyme depletion.  It can take up to fifty tries before a child decides if they like a food or not. It is very important to continue to support trying new foods and experimenting with them in a different way. Your child may not like squash boiled, but when roasted to bring out more of the sweet flavour it may be more appealing.

Children are also growing beings in need or more foods. Vegetables are naturally cleansing, so it is not surprising that children do not want a large amount of vegetables in their diet. Important building foods at this time are whole grains, organic meats and organs (if tolerated), fish, and a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Here are some specific tips for getting the key nutrients into your child:

Calcium – It is a myth that milk is the highest source of calcium.  It is indeed a source, but nowhere near the best.  Sesame seeds and tahini are a much higher source of calcium as well as seaweeds are very high in this important mineral.  Mix tahini with your child’s favorite nut/seed butter to add a Calcium boost. Add a small piece of seaweed into rice, soups and stews to add important minerals (you don’t have to eat the seaweed! When it is cooked the minerals go into the dish).

Iron – Organ meats are the highest source of easily digestible iron. Buy an organic preferably grass fed liver and freeze it. Then add 1T grated to any soup, stew or sauce.  You won’t even know it is there. There is also Vitamin A and D in liver.  Other great sources of iron are meats, molasses and black beans.

#1 Kitchen need is an immersion blender. Making puree’s of any kind can help you to “hide” foods for your children to enjoy.

Macaroni & Cheese: add carrot or squash puree for beta-carotene and other vitamins.

Spaghetti Sauce: add blended chick peas for fibre, complex carbohydrates and protein.

Soups: Stir in an egg yolk for extra B-vitamins and phospholipids that feed the brain.

Plus any food that is wrapped such as home-made empanadas or somosas.  Take advantage of the dough and sneak in some healthy veggies.


Another way to get your child to eat is to teach them how to cook. Once they know how to master an ingredient they may not be so wary of eating it. After your youngster has made a batch of spaghetti sauce with the hated green zucchini blitzed into it he’s going to want to try it right? He made it himself after all. A knowledge of food begins with eating and tasting but in order to fully understand and appreciate you have to start at the cutting board and get your hands dirty.

Remember in the Little House on the Prairie books how Laura and her sister helped their mother in the kitchen? Churning butter, making bread and putting up preserves for winter. Those two little girls knew more about cooking before they hit puberty than many of us do in this day and age as adults. Imagine knowing how to make mustard pickles and French bread when you were ten? Well, it might be too late for some of us but if you have kids, you just might want to check out the children’s programming at the Evergreen Brickworks this fall.

Hands in the Bowl

Saturdays 9:30–10:30am

Cost: $5 suggested donation, drop-in

Caregivers and children ages 4 to 7 are invited to roll up your sleeves and learn how to mix, grate mash and then eat your delicious creations—using only your hands!

Sniff, taste, touch and play are the key ingredients of this fun and free program.

Space is limited to a maximum of 12 children.

For more information visit: http://ebw.evergreen.ca/whats-on/kids-families/hands-in-the-bowl

Growing Taste Buds

Saturdays | 8-week sessions – 11am–1pm
Pre-registration required $160 per child

Fall session: Celebrating the Harvest

Eating within the season is key to a local sustainable food economy. Knowing how to preserve our harvest is a way to enjoy delicious foods in the off season. This knowledge, normally passed from one generation to another, is now in danger to been lost. We need to actively engage our children in learning these techniques to protect that knowledge for future generations.

Join our chef facilitators and special guests in a series of hands-on cooking workshops for children aged 8–12. Kids will experiment in the kitchen, learn to cook and find out about the importance of making good food choices—all while having fun!

For more information visit: http://ebw.evergreen.ca/whats-on/kids-families/growing-taste-buds/#fall-2012


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