My kids love food. Not that they aren’t picky, because they are. But they, the boys especially, love trying new foods and experimenting and talking about recipes. My second oldest turned seven yesterday and requested “a vanilla cake with layers of strawberry ice cream and actual strawberries, and like, kinda frozen.” Birthdays are my favorite and I welcome whatever cake challenge they want to throw at me. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s always kind of fun.
This summer, my friend and I are teaching our kids to cook and doing crafts once a week to beat the summer boredom and hopefully gain some useful skills. Also on the list is teaching them to brew a proper pot of coffee, but that’s another lesson all its own that hopefully their wives will thank me for later in life.
I credit their culinary curiosity to some of the cooking shows we’ve watched together. I applaud the parents and grandparents who can sit through Curious George and Wild Kratts and enjoy them, but I am not that mom. The day my kids started to appreciate the Food Network and cooking competitions was a day I will cherish forever. Truly, most reality cooking shows are a little too PG-13 for my crew, but we have found some that we all enjoy and spark a lot of interest in getting in the kitchen to create. My husband can have the endless baseball games (seriously, every night. why?), I’ll take a kids’ cooking competition any day of the week.
Want to bond with your own little baker or future chef? A few of our favorites are on Netflix now! The Kids Baking Championship is super fun and inspiring. The first season of Beat Bobby Flay is a family favorite. It’s not a kids show per se, but my boys love choosing who they’re going to root for and planning what they’d make if they went up against him. They also love watching the crazy combinations and ridiculous amounts of food Adam Richman attempts in Man V. Food. And not on Netflix, but probably streaming somewhere: Chopped Junior, MasterChef Junior, and Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook Off.
George has already promised me that he is going to become a chef and live with me and cook for me for the rest of my life, so I think it’s all paying off. And if that doesn’t work out, at least they have a deeper appreciation and a little bit more of an adventurous spirit when it comes to eating!