There are so many learning benefits to this activity such as encouraging creativity, following instructions, sharing ideas, using teamwork, and asking for help. Emotionally, it provides togetherness and a sense of achievement and pride.
He learns practical skills of cooking too, such as:
– how to cook using kitchen utensils and safe methods
– the difference in the taste between raw and cooked ingredients, and cold and hot ingredients
– how ingredients come together to create a unique taste
– how to use fresh ingredients including produce
– suitable crockery for serving
– culture and traditional values of particular styles of cooking
– quantities and selection of healthy ingredients
– how restaurants provide food (it is possible to cook same foods at home)
– clean- up processes
Kitchen set-up and suitability for children is essential. We have fresh vegetables and ingredients on display and in easy-to-reach baskets in the kitchen so he can help me select ingredients. He has a step-ladder he can carry to various places including sections of the bench where he can reach to turn on the kettle, put scraps into the compost and comfortably pour and mix ingredients in a mixing bowl. To ensure his safety around the appliances, utensils and hot gas element, I never take my eyes off him and do not allow distractions like phone ringing or adult conversations to take priority over what we are doing.
Today we cooked a simple udon noodle broth, with snow peas and boiled eggs. It tasted like a broth from the Sushi Train and it was fun to set up bamboo mats and chopsticks to eat in style.
You will need:
– 1/2 cup soy sauce
– 1 tsp minced garlic
– 1 tsp grated ginger
– 1 tbsp honey
– 1 tbsp sesame seeds
– 1 tsp lemon grass (from jar)
– 1 pack udon noodles
– 3 pre-boiled eggs
– handful of fresh snow-peas
– 1/2 cup vegetable stock
1. Bring a fry-pan to high heat. Add to the pan the soy sauce, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, honey, and sesame seeds. Place boiled eggs on top, cover with lid and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove lid.
2. Add udon noodles and stir-through.
3. Add snow peas on top.
4. Pour in vegetable stock, and continue to simmer for five more minutes.
5. Turn off heat and pour into deep bowls. Nice and steamy!
Caution: Warn children the soup will be hot.