NOTE: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.
When kids learn to cook, they build healthier eating habits for life.
There’s no doubt about this. Developing a respect and appreciation, for both the ingredients and process of seeing a meal through to completion, is paramount for making wise food choices. As a young girl, I loved being “invited” into my mom’s kitchen to learn about foods, discover cultural traditions and of course, sample the ingredients along the way. (Though “licking the bowl” is now considered taboo! Boo hoo!)
Today, I have a young, enthusiastic sous chef who shadows me in the kitchen. Together, we tackle meal planning, work together to prep the meal and often, he’ll help me serve. (He’s great at garnish.)
However, I know that this isn’t the norm; many parents aren’t teaching cooking skills because they lack the confidence to do so. In fact, less than half of Canadian parents feel highly skilled at creating a balanced meal, and even have trouble with the most common kitchen tasks, like seasoning, chopping and pan frying. At the same time, 98% of Canadian parents think it is important to cook with their children.
So, we’ve got a situation where we know it’s important to teach our kids these essential life skills, but we simply don’t have the confidence to carry out the instruction. Here’s where Ben’s Beginners comes in.
Uncle Ben’s believes in getting more families cooking together, because cooking is a life skill as essential as reading and writing. The Ben’s Beginners activities and recipes are a great place to get started; you can find interactive activities that teach basic cooking skills like peeling and stirring, as well as easy and delicious recipes for kids and parents to cook together.
The best part? The meals include family favourites such as Meatballs & Rice, Cranberry Rice Stuffed Pork Chops and more! All of the recipes are extremely easy to follow and include fun online activities (we love the interactive checklist) to keep kids engaged. This past weekend, I summoned my little sous chef and together, we made a savoury Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Casserole.
First, Reid checked to ensure we had all ingredients. The visual prompts are great for children, as it helps them to identify ingredients and keeps them on task. For this particular lesson, the main skill to be practiced was chopping. However, since the recipe called for a fine dice – and that’s a little challenging for a 6-year old – we decided to work on his measurement skills instead. (Remember: an adult is the best person to decide what tasks are appropriate for the child.)
Great job, Reid! You deserve an “A” for effort.
The online lessons allow you to work at your own pace, and even provide a chance for children to develop an awareness for the ingredients they’re using. Reid, being given the task to separate the little heads of broccoli (a perfect job for his little hands!) instantly became curious about the vegetable.
“Can I eat it raw?” he asked. “Go for it,” I replied. “But it tastes better raw with a little ranch dressing!” He sampled it and deciding he wasn’t a fan. C’est la vie!
Do you love to cook with your kids? The Ben’s Beginners Cooking Contest awards three (3) Grand Prize winners $10,000 CAD which may be used towards a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)! To enter, simply take a photo of yourself (and your kids!) cooking a rice-based dish and upload it to the contest website.
The contest ends on October 30th, so get cooking!
As for us? Well, we popped the Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Casserole in the oven and cleaned the kitchen while it heated through. In the end, we enjoyed a creamy rice dish – packed with chicken and veggie goodness – which the whole family loved.
The best part: we made it together.
Have I inspired you to cook with your kids? One lucky reader will win an Uncle Ben’s #LookWhatWeMade prize pack valued at $150! The prize pack includes a selection of Uncle Ben’s products, cookware and kitchenware for you to enjoy!
Simply fill the form below with your qualifying entries. Good luck all – and don’t forget to enter the Ben’s Beginners Cooking Contest!