Bristol Cooking School: Why it is so important for Children to learn how to cook

Today Bishopston Matters shares an article by Bristol Cooking School, a cookery school which offers after-school clubs, workshops and weekend activities with the aim of providing children and adults with the basics of affordable and healthy eating. Here, Bristol Cooking School explains the importance of cooking with your children and the many benefits that this will bring, as well as sharing its very own delicious recipe for Chicken Pie with Carrot and Potato Mash.

Parents, grandparents, and youngsters cooking together in the kitchen, sharing family recipes and secrets passed from one generation to the next, is a lost art in many households in Britain nowadays. These days, it’s hard for busy parents even to take time out to teach their kids basic cooking techniques.

It’s true that including the kids in cooking meals requires time, patience, and some extra clean-up, especially when the children are younger. But I think that it is well worth the effort.

For one thing, cooking with your kids can help get them interested in trying healthy foods they might normally turn their noses up at. It’s true that kids will be kids — they’ll snack on crisps at a party or enjoy ice cream after a supper. But what is most important is how they eat most of the time. And that’s where parents can play a role. Keep in mind that for kids today, healthy eating essentially means eating more fruits and vegetables, having whole grains and beans when possible, and choosing leaner types of animal foods (even some fish every now and then.)

Encouraging kids to try healthier foods isn’t the only benefit of cooking as a family. It provides opportunities for children to improve their food preparation skills. Cooking teaches children about healthy nutrition in a fun way. It does help children with the opportunity to learn about foods from different cultures.

Why not let children join a Cooking Club. Here are a few of the skills and learning abilities that kids can develop:

Sensory skills – Through tasting, hearing, touching, smelling and seeing, children will be exposed to and identify different foods.

Motor skills – Being actively involved with food will help large and fine motor skills. As well, food preparation enhances eye-hand coordination.

Mathematics – Kids will count, measure and follow recipe directions in the food-related activities.

Safety – During food preparation you can teach children the importance of safety when dealing with food, utensils and appliances.

Social skills – Working with other children will give the kids a sense of sharing and cooperation and an understanding of how to interact with others in groups. They will be able to learn from one another.

Emotional development – As children learn to make something for themselves, they develop a sense of independence and a positive self-image.

Language skills – Food activities provide a rich opportunity to learn the names of foods and utensils. Many food activities can also encourage conversations about food likes, dislikes and experiences children have had with food.

The Bristol Cooking School run afterschool cooking clubs, little chefs club, holiday classes, we do cooking parties and the teenagers survival to University. www.bristolcookingschool.co.uk or 07765844763 for more info.

Chicken pie with carrot and potato mash

Cooking time Prep 40 min. Cook 50 min. Serves 4

Create a healthy meal for the whole family with the help of your children. Suitable for children over 5 years old

Ingredients

1 large carrot

1 large potato

2 tbsp of melted butter

2 slices of cooked ham

3 chicken breasts

4 tbsp Frozen peas

5 tbsp double cream

Method

1. Ask a grown-up to heat the oven to 200C/180C fan, then boil the carrot and potato whole for 5 minutes, then put them in a bowl of cold water to cool down. When cold, peel them carefully.

2. Grate the carrot and potato (cut them into chunks first if you are using a rotary grater).

3. Put the grated carrot and potato in a large bowl, add the melted butter and mix it all together.

4. Cut the ham into small pieces using scissors or a small knife, then cut the chicken into pieces.

5. Put the chicken and ham in a pie dish with the peas and cream and give everything a stir.

6. Spoon the carrot and potato mash onto the pie and ask your grown-up helper to put the pie in the oven for 50 minutes or until the chicken and topping are cooked through. Serve with green beans or broccoli.

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