My fondest memories of my son are cooking with him as a child. We had such fun! The kitchen looked like Thing 1 and Thing 2 spent the day there, but I would simply pick him up and place him in the next room while I vacuumed and wiped up. It was so worth it to spend that time together in the kitchen!
Sadly, most children’s cookbooks feature recipes for treats, desserts and fast food replicas. This does nothing to teach children about eating real, healthy food. In fact, it just reinforces all the signals they get from the food industry and marketing companies. Healthy eating is something that needs to be taught at home in a real food kitchen.
Why bother, you might ask, when there are so many commercially made foods available for busy parents. Sadly, many young adults do not know many of the different vegetables. I find myself telling cashiers at the market what it is. This is also true for young children – they do not know many of the common vegetables.
Why is this?
Mostly it is because no one at home is using them. They are too busy rushing off to all the extra curricular activities children have. This type of eating contributes to the growing health problems young children are plagued with these days. They have allergies, asthma, ear infections, ADHD and autism, autoimmune problems and many children are developing the diseases of adults like diabetes and obesity.
It’s all about the food.
It’s time to go back into the kitchen and just eat real food. The time that is saved by eating those convenience foods, will be spent caring for sick children or going to doctors’ offices. If you engage the whole family in healthy eating it will help you and will set an example for your children.
My son is all grown up now and is able to plan meals, shop for them and cook for himself as a matter of course. Sure he eats out, but he didn’t have to rely on college food plans at school and he is a very good cook! It’s all a matter of teaching your children to be comfortable in the kitchen and that can start when they are small.
The Nourishing Traditions Cookbook for Children
I have just the cookbook to recommend to you. Sally Fallon Morrel has recently released The Nourishing Traditions Cookbook for Children! It is beautifully illustrated by Angel Eisenbart and written with Suzanne Gross.
What I love about the book:
- The large print so older children can easily read from it.
- The ingredients and equipment have illustrations.
- There is a section with tips for cooking with children
- Each chapter has explanations about food that older children can understand and appreciate – for instance the chapter on milk has explanations about pasteurization, homogenization, fake milks and reduced fat milk.
- There is a chapter with healthy lunch ideas and recipes.
- There is a chapter on fermented foods that kids would like, such as pickles and fermented sodas.
- It is spiral bound for ease in use.
If you want to teach your children about cooking with real food, this is the book for you! It is a great tool for parents and teachers alike!