Teaching children how to prepare and cut vegetables is one of the most important and beneficial life skills you can teach them as it a task they will need to do for the rest of their lives. I was gifted the idea of getting children to wash vegetables a while back and they loved using the brush, this time I felt ready to introduce the knife!
Getting children involved in the preparation of food is a great way for them to gain culinary skills and it also helps them understand the process behind seed to mouth gifting them valuable knowledge about the produce.
It is not always easy to amuse my children when it comes to getting dinner prepared, being a single parent leaving the boys to keep themselves busy at this time of the afternoon can be somewhat of a challenge. I was once given the advice that “the tv is a great babysitter” although I don’t really want them in front of the tv and especially not that time of night. I want their minds to settle down and if they have become bored of their toys or just don’t want to do the normal activities what better way to get them active than by helping prepare the food they are (hopefully) about to eat?!
My children are still quite young so many home economics activities are still too hazardous although I am testing the waters more often now my youngest has passed the age of 3 years.
It was quite daunting the first time I had them near the stove for our Homemade Chocolate Cooking Lesson, at the time the little one didn’t really show much interest and my big boy Easy had the most fun ever getting to clean out the glass dish! This was one of the simplest methods of cooking when introducing a child to a stove as all that was required was stirring a mixture with a spoon (and being very careful of the flames!). They obviously thought it was super cool managing a wild element and making chocolate in such an awesome way!
This time the teaching was slightly more daunting as they were both using a moderately sharp knife to cut vegetables. They have to Lear sometime, right? Let us start them off young.
I asked my boys if they wanted to help cut the Cauliflower for our creamy rice dish and happily they did. We set up a chopping board and I selected a relatively appropriate knife for them, we pulled up a chair and I showed them what to do. They absolutely loved it and surprisingly it was my Little Al who had the mist pleasure in it, it was so adorable to see him cutting the veg and very cute seeing him pile it into his own little bowl.
It was absolutely lovely to watch my Son in this way, I am glad I kept my good friends’ advice in my head as it was a blissful experience to participate in. Ok so there was Cauliflower flying in all directions and the trimmings didn’t all end up in the designated pile, it was a welcomed mess and I think my baby one did very well!
I will definitely be encouraging them to get involved every single meal time that it is appropriate and one day hopefully they will show me a thing or two 😉 There’s nothing more attractive than a man who knows how to cook a healthy meal 🙂
Depending on your knowledge of the vegetables you are using will determine what the children learn from this activity. Even if you just teach them the name of the vegetable or teach them the simple process of harvesting the veg and cooking it they are still learning something. If you know more extensive details then feed it into your child, it is quite surprising what their memories can hold and it is fascinating hearing what interested them most the next time they speak of it back to you.
I Thank God for my beautiful children and their passion for learning 🙂