Its Chef Alex again. So I now it seems repetitive but I also feel like I can’t stress this enough (if you follow us over at www.homeschoolinginnyc.org you understand this) that life skills are soooooo important to teach children.
Children grow up to become adults right? Adults need to know how to cook (shop, budget, wash clothes and dishes etc) to survive. I now way too many who do not know how to cook. Yup, grown adults, well into their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s who can’t even read a simple recipe, including microwavable meals. Yes, you read that right, and i wish I made that up but unfortunately I didn’t.
So despite being in the 21st Century, which is filled with technology, we have a lot of ways to be resourceful. Look, I totally understand that its super easy to order in or go get take out but if you realize how much the cost adds up, well I’m betting your spending more than you should.
Of course you can always buy those microwavable meals I mentioned as well but even the healthiest, have an over load of salt. Here’s the Catch – 22 though, Look how many videos, recipes and how to articles there are on the internet. (Hey you, yes remember we are one of those). You can learn to cook at any age. You may not be the next master chef but you never now until you try.
Long before I became a mom, and a chef, some of my fondest memories were cooking with my parents, my aunt and other family members. Our cultures and our celebrations have always incorporated food. Food really does reflect a lot of what a country or state is like. The technique, the ingredients and why and when these foods are eaten.
Culture is more than just food though, clothing, tradition, language, music and so much more really come full circle but food is universal and easier to understand for many. For us, this helps as a jumping point to learn more about a particular country or state. The great thing is that these lessons aren’t just teaching a valuable life skill but actually cover all the subjects. It combines just about every subject you can think of Math, Science, English, Geography, History, Nutrition, Fire safety (Stove top or campfire cooking), foreign language, art and can even be a workout.
Bonus is that your kids will gain confidence, try new things (might even like them) and get to eat delicious food. Crazy right? This is why I love not only as a mom, a homeschooler, but also as a chef doing what I do. Seeing Matthew and all the kids I’ve had the pleasure of teaching have fun, ask questions, and learn, well its an amazing benefit.
Now I do have plenty of experience teaching children outside of my own when it comes to cooking and other subjects. I worked in a preschool, I was a camp counselor and I own Matthew’s Kitchen, where normally (thanks COVID) I’m teaching various classes to kids.
I love and miss it but I wanted to make it available to everyone so I’ve been working on writing the curriculums I made and creating a virtual platform with classes so you will have access at your own pace and convenience. I will also have an Ebook Cookbook form available to purchase.
The two classes I’ll be starting off with are Road Trip through the USA and Around the World.
Road trip through the USA will cover one state a week.
- background of the state
- two recipes with video
- craft project or writing assignment
- Weekly Zoom to ask the chef
- Bonus: E Cookbook of everything
- Bonus: PDF USA Coloring book
I will be adding more courses as time goes following the same basic set up and a fun class for younger children as well so they can also join you in the kitchen and get benefits of our lessons.
Here is how these courses are beneficial:
You will help your child shop for ingredients, budget meals and understand how it can play a role in recipes and our courses will help teach kitchen and food safety, how to cook a variety of foods using different techniques (like how to cut properly, how to cook different meats and vegetables, and different pastry techniques). You child will learn skills that will be valuable well into the future as they are independent adults.
Social and Emotional Health
Giving a child a job in the house and making them feel important boosts their confidence. Teaching children skills that they can learn and grow to become independent, you will see them flourish at how well they do. Seeing the end result of all that work and seeing the reactions of friends and family tasting your creations also boosts confidence, which is key.
When you cook there is a lot of measuring, (teaspoons, tablespoons, milligrams, milliliters, cups) You can half recipes, double and so on. Some recipes you may have to convert the measurement. You can add in how to price things out and budget for recipes.
Cooking is a lot of chemistry. How do things react to each other? In cooking you explore and can understand what works and why.
If your reading this, I’m assuming (apologies if its translated) into English. Your child will work on reading, directions and problem solving as well as comprehension.
Many terms as well as recipes from other countries are in their native language. While your child won’t become fluent, they can begin to learn key words in foreign languages. Your child can work on interpreting the language (if you so choose) and they will also learn common culinary and pastry phrases.
Do you know where a food comes from? Where the spices or ingredients are native to? Every country and every state has a staple. We as humans not only need food but its part of everyone’s culture.
Just like geography, it is a vital piece of knowledge to know about food and it’s history. Do you know how a dish was created? Do you know why? Many things came out of war for necessity, out of famine, out of immigration and travel.
What is healthy? what is not? Why are some countries deemed healthier than others? Which foods give off what vitamins and how can a meal be balanced? All things to work with when it comes to cooking
Not every dish will involve fire but ever since man discovered fire, which was 2 million years ago, we used fire to cook food. If you plan on camping or using a grill, its a great opportunity to cover fire safety but same thing with a stove. What is hot? what happens if there is a fire? How do we treat a burn etc. Safety is first.
Food is art in itself with the combinations of flavors but so is plating food. Have you noticed how pretty food looks in movies, in magazines and restaurants. Its an art. Get creative even if its not a cake or cookie.
Ah the P.E. When your a chef, you stand for hours at a time. Lifting and unloading boxes of ingredients, making ice cream and well pounding out butter for different doughs, It can take a toll on your body and give you a workout. Your kids won’t get that as much but with the nutrition lesson, they will understand how Eating and working out/ being physical will correlate.
Kitchen and Food Safety
Your children will learn how to be safe while in the kitchen. When you cook you can control and prevent a lot of food born illnesses as well as prevent injury. While cooking is educational and fun, there are still risks involved. Some recipes may require parents help and supervision but this will also help you bond and create your fond memories.
So check us out at Matthew’s Kitchen where the courses will be available. Until the launch, we have plenty of informative articles and recipes that you can use and enjoy with your children. Have fun cooking.
Thank you guys so much for reading through. I’m happy to say we are working on 3 cookbooks and focusing on 2 virtual classes to get up and running shortly. Subscribe to stay tuned.