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Cooking With Your Kids

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Cooking With Your Kids

As a little girl, I loved sitting on the kitchen counter while my mom cooked. While I kicked my feet against the cabinets, she taught me how to peel an onion efficiently and how to crack an egg and use my index fingers to get all the white out before tossing the shells into the compost bin. And I still vividly recall the excitement I felt over the beautiful, golden, sesame seed-studded loaves of braided challah we baked in my second grade class at the Woodstock Children’s Center – they were like some kind of miracle…

Childhood is such an important, impressionable time of life when the vast majority of our lifelong habits are formed, or at least pointed in the direction in which they’ll head. That’s why my husband and I want to introduce our son, Will, to growing and cooking food alongside us.

Will, who is just shy of three, watches and “helps” us with our container garden where we grow tomatoes, greens, peas, beans and herbs. At this point, it mostly means he digs in the dirt but he’s learning.

Will really digs dirt by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2011

He had the heady experience of drinking cold, clear, slightly sweet maple sap straight from the spile (was this a new vocab word for you, too?) during our first foray into maple sugaring last winter.

Maple sap dripping out of the stile by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2011

And we brought him with us to forage for ramps a few weeks ago (although we confined his enthusiastic excavation efforts to a patch of ground that was not home to this fragile delicacy.) We’ve also gone strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and apple picking as a family – all activities we plan to repeat on a yearly basis.

Will LOVES Berry Picking by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2011

We’ve taken him to local farms and friends’ houses to gather eggs so fresh you have to chase the hens off their nests to pick them up. In addition to teaching him where his food comes from, it’s a great way to kill an hour or so. We have not yet taught him about where the meat we eat comes from, both because we don’t have a great local source and we’re also both a little wimpy about exposing him to something so bloody at a tender age (or to being exposed to it, ourselves, at our not so tender ages…)

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Read more: Blogs, Children, Family, Food, Garden of Eating, Nature, Outdoor Activities, Teens

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Eve Fox

Eve is the creator of The Garden of Eating, a blog about food--cooking it, eating it, and growing it. She has a legendary love of aprons and can often be found salivating over the fruits and veggies at one of the many farmersí markets near her home in Woodstock, NY. Want even more recipes, photos, giveaways, and food-related inspiration? "Like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow Eve on Twitter or Pinterest.

13 comments

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5:55PM PDT on May 31, 2012

Ideally.... yes, though often I find I do not have the patience!

5:54PM PDT on May 31, 2012

Ideally.... yes, though often I find I do not have the patience!

9:21AM PDT on May 30, 2012

Wonderful.......lead by example

12:53PM PDT on May 15, 2012

Never had this bonding moment with my mother, but then I was only one of five daughters. But think it is a wonderful idea, and of course it does not only need to be the daughter, sons also,

10:32AM PDT on May 13, 2012

I believe that cooking with kids is a great concept, whether they sit there and watch or actually participate doesn't matter for in the warm glow of the kitchen is where lessons for a lifetime to come begin!

2:38PM PDT on May 12, 2012

Theoretically correct.

1:04PM PDT on May 12, 2012

Sounds great in theory, I tried cooking today with my 4 and 2 year old and nearly had heart failure!

8:21AM PDT on May 12, 2012

I love what you're doing with your son! I plan to do the same with my future kids:)

2:32PM PDT on May 11, 2012

thanks!

2:00PM PDT on May 11, 2012

cute :)

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