I have come across men who are chauvinistic and believe that the kitchen is meant only for the women folk and have also come across women who believe that it is modern to not enter the kitchen. Guess what such people need to learn is that being in the kitchen is all about sharing and loving. If you love the people you live with, you will show it by contributing in the household chores, and the kitchen is no exception.
I have observed that with my nieces and nephews (my friends’ kids are included), an interest in the kitchen widens their view of life. It teaches them to be patient, helps in increasing their creativity and helps them to shoulder responsibility, besides giving them an appreciation of what happens in the kitchen. One of my nieces (Ms. Mahi Jaiswal, 11 years) once sat with me discussing about how to present her Molten Lava Chocolate Cupcake. She considered the layout on the plate, what sauce to make, the mint sprig that will give it a different and fresh taste. My other niece (Shannon Sequeira, when she was 10 years) used to help me clean squids and make a nice Salt & Pepper Squid! My nephew (Samson Sequeira, when he was 6 years) would find it funny when getting his hands dirty while mixing in the marination to make burger patties.
Kids take to cooking when they realise that it is fun to cook and that the results can be tweaked into something creative. For a potluck, my friends children (as young as 3 years old) found it fun and exciting to make Strawberry Chocolates. The amount of happiness in doing something on their own, the squealing when they get something right, the ability to cope (and then redo) something that didn’t turn out well; and the pride in showing off their creations;all this is something to look forward to. Also, this teaches them about handling their successes and failures in a small way.
Kids have the most wonderful way of showing love and appreciation. A lot of times, they do it through food. Mahi makes cookies and cakes to share with her friends and family. Shannon makes a mean Noodle Soup for her youngest brother when he wants something special.
If you are smiling now, get your kids involved. Involve your kids slowly. First, maybe get them involved in cleaning fruits or vegetables. Then get them onvolved in mixing and stirring; followed by cooking/frying and then cutting. Use the ceramic knives for kids as they prevent cuts.
Jams & Preserves