Gluten Free Thought-Full Thursday- Can Your Kids Cook

Can your kids cook?  Do your kids get invited into the kitchen or shooed out?  Do you think kids could cook for themselves, the family or even a party full of people?  If you happened to watch Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Episode #3  you saw him take a bunch of kids from the high school who volunteered to be part of this project and teach them how to cook.  They didn’t just learn to make a fast chicken dinner for themselves but they cooked a meal for 80 of the mover and shakers of Huntington and their Senator. All of those guests thought Jamie Oliver had cooked the meal for them.

It was amazing to watch these kids dig deep and work hard to make this meal happen.  Everything looked so good coming out of that kitchen.  After the meal and the big reveal that Jamie didn’t do any of the cooking, each high school student on the team shared their story.  By the time they were done there was not a dry eye in the room.

I watched the show with my 16 year old son, Brad.  We had a lot of great conversations around that show.  For instance the fact that the high school served french fries every day and how he used to eat almost as many but now can’t imagine that.  He really liked how Jamie let the kids have a voice and speak the truth about what was going on.

As I’ve been watching this program there have been many things I’ve been thinking that I could do to make changes.  One is to get Brad back in the kitchen with me.  He likes to bake and he’s pretty good at it.  He’s learned to bake gluten and dairy free.  But he doesn’t know how to cook many meals.

So we’ve decided to cook together once a week most likely on the weekends when we have a little more time.  He’s great at the grocery store so we’ll go pick out what we want to cook and plan our meal.  I’m really looking forward to this time together and I think it’s great he wants to learn.

He’s watched his older brother in the kitchen with me learning to cook over the years.  Now he sees the benefit as his brother has an apartment at college and cooks for himself and friends.  As you can imagine he’s very popular with the ladies.

So do you have kids and are they cooking?  Can you take them to the grocery store and they know what and where the ingredients can be found for the meals you cook?  I know doing this takes extra time and that can be hard to come by.  But if you saw the faces of those kids on the show and how proud they were of their accomplishments then you saw why you need to give this a go.  If we don’t teach our kids to cook how can we expect them to make choices that are good for their bodies?  All they’ll know is food shows up and when they have to eat on their own that will mean fast food and boxes of processed foods with tons of chemicals, preservatives and who knows what else.

Now if you think your kids are too young then you’re not thinking creative enough.  Tom and Ali who write The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen blog recently shared a video of Tom and their 27 month twin boys in the kitchen making green smoothies.  It was great to watch them together and then to drink up at the end.  These boys are learning great things at a young age.

If you do cook with your kids please leave a comment and share some ideas on how you get them cooking.  I’d love to see tons of ideas that folks can take and maybe use themselves.

Thanks for the shout out on Next Level Blog.

10 Responses to Gluten Free Thought-Full Thursday- Can Your Kids Cook

  1. mama April 8, 2010 at 4:32 am #

    as soon as my 3yr old daughter hears a clink in the kitchen she pushes a chair up and says "I wanna help"

    • Diane April 12, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

      mama- I love it! 3 years old and in the kitchen. Keep her going and she can be catering by 9 like I was.

  2. Lori April 8, 2010 at 7:23 am #

    My son (12) has been in the kitchen with me for as long as I can remember. We have made alot of our food from scratch since he is so allergic. I started by showing him things, and then gradually let him try. He has made spagetti sauce from scratch and makes his own special garlic sauce.

    My biggest reason for teaching him is for the same reason I make him pick up after himself and learn to do laundry. I want him to be independant by the time he leaves my house.

    • Diane April 12, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

      Lori- Very well put! Having kids learn how to take care of themselves will help them also take care of you! Great job!

  3. Alta April 8, 2010 at 7:34 am #

    I haven't watched the 3rd episode yet, but I love having the kids in the kitchen. They need to learn to cook for themselves when they get older anyway, and they need to learn where food really comes from. My stepson, when we were making fried ice cream last weekend, thought it was so weird that we also had to "make" whipped cream. He never knew that whipped cream was something that could be made – all he's been exposed to at his mom's home (just like many of us) is the canned stuff. We whipped cream, which took all of a few minutes, and voila! Whipped cream for our ice cream. I even explained to him how butter is made – saying we could accidentally turn this cream into butter if we didn't watch it. I think of course kids should understand about healthier eating and cooking – and part of that comes from understanding what "food" really is.

    • Diane April 12, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

      Alta- For those of us who cook and know how something is made and what the ingredients are it's easy to forget that others who just have food served to them really don't have the same knowledge. That's whats so fun about sharing real food with kids. Sounds like you guys had a great dessert!

  4. Celiacs in the House April 8, 2010 at 10:02 am #

    All three of the teens in our house cook and shop. Two of them are a little sketchy on the clean-up. 🙂 They also do their laundry. When my husband and I were dating I was amazed that he had never really cooked or done laundry and was quite helpless. I come from an equal opportunity family with a working mom and boys and girls learned life skills. Hubby has turned into quite a great cook over the years and quite accomplished at laundry. I'm still cringing at Jamie's communication skills and I wouldn't blame Alice if she sent him to detention even if I support his efforts 100%.


  5. Michele April 8, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    Well of course, my daughter was always in the kitchen. She's 24 now and still comes home to make all of her holiday cookies (even though she knows I can't at them any more!). She tells me it just wouldn't be the same if we didn't make them together.

    • Diane April 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

      Michelle- That is such a great story. Thank you for sharing!


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