Kids and Cooking, Passing on the Skills.

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When my son’s class was studying the Aboriginals one of the elements we talked about at home was the loss of traditional practices such as tool and cloth making. As these skills were being replaced with ready-made items the techniques weren’t being passed down to the kids. Generations later I can’t help but feel our kids are loosing out in some basic skills too.

Along with helping our kids with math homework and understanding the benefits of co-operation, we need to teach them practical life skills. That’s where my son’s study on the Aboriginal had me thinking. From sewing clothes to planting vegetables, skills that my mother possessed aren’t ones I have mastered or have shared with my own children. Even preparing a family meal seems to have changed priority in our busy schedule. It’s no wonder a recent Sobeys survey revealed that 26 per cent of Canadians feel they have no real time to prepare more tasty, healthy and cost-effective meals. Some other interesting points from this survey:

  • Canadians who cooked with their parents as children (57 per cent) are much more likely to love cooking as adults (60 vs. 44 per cent) and involve others in meal preparation (an average of 3 vs. 2 times a week).
  • Only 18 per cent of Canadians are consuming at least one meal per day made with basic ingredients or from scratch.
  • 57 per cent of Canadians say cooking with their parents played a role in the development of their own cooking abilities.
  • Only 22 per cent of parents believe their children’s cooking skills are as strong as theirs were at their age.

Are we forgoing regular cooking in favour of ready-made and fast food outlets? Are we preparing our kids with necessary kitchen skills and how to make good food choices? If the current trend with young adults (18-29) is a sign of the future, where 31 per cent don’t feel as confident in the kitchen compared to their parents at 45 per cent, then I think we need to make some changes for our kids.

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I’ll admit I’m not much of a kitchen aficionado following recipes more than creating a meal from scratch. Cooking is something I feel I have to do versus want to do. Getting the kids involved can seem like a daunting task. But my kids are eager to learn. Just like helping them learn to read required patience and understanding, it’s a skill worth putting the time in to share. Cooking is the same. It seems most parents would agree (63%) and understand the value of teaching their kids about food and providing cooking skills.

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I have found on those occasions where I do involve the kids in meal preparations they not only learn valuable skills such as following a recipe and using kitchen tools, they are also more open to trying new foods. I have less meal battles, especially with my youngest, when the kids help plan and prepare a meal.

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day follows suit, getting kids excited about food, good food. With Sobeys ongoing relationship with Jamie Oliver it’s exciting to see them partner up with him around Food Revolution Day on May 16. Their goal is simply to help raise awareness around the movement, making better food choices and cooking education in Canada. One way they hope to do this is by hosting a nationwide potluck challenge starting April 28. We’ll be participating in this challenge in our home, getting the kids involved with creating their own contribution. I’ve already started gathering some inspiration in our potluck pin board. If you have a great dish idea I should add share it in the link below or tag it with #FRD2014.

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Our kids are eager to help and learn and try new things. Why not make cooking and food part of this discovery process.

I have received consideration from Sobeys or Sobeys’ media partners in exchange for this content.  Sobeys has not reviewed these claims and is not responsible for the content. All opinions and experiences are my own

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