Getting the Kids into the Kitchen this Mid Term Break
In the old days, children learned to cook by being around their mothers and grandmothers in the kitchen. Many adults fondly remember the meals of childhood and being encouraged to help out with the preparation and cooking, as well as with table laying, clearing and washing up. Modern life has taken its toll on these traditional routines. Family structures have changed, with both parents often now having to go out to work full time and children going to after school clubs or private childcare.
Amid these generational changes, the old ways of learning about food are dying out. These days, many children never get the chance to help with the cooking or learn how a meal is produced on a day to day basis, or experience the joy of getting their hands dirty making a cake - with the added bonus of licking the bowl clean.
These hand-me-down skills, which prepare us for adulthood just as much as getting an academic education does, are no longer being passed on in the home as often as they once were. For very many reasons.
Teaching the skill of cooking to our children is teaching them a skill for life. A skill that will foster a love of good home-made food and the confidence to make it: promotes healthy eating habits - and ensures the next generation won’t have to survive on fast foods and takeaways in later years, with all the poor health implications they bring.
The autumn mid-term break from school is a great opportunity for parents at home to get in the kitchen with the kids. Particularly if the weather is bad. This writer still remembers school holidays being holed up in a warm kitchen, with the rain lashing outside, waiting with quivering anticipation for the fairy cakes that had just been prepared, with mum’s help, to come out of the oven.
If you can’t be at home in the kitchen with the kids this mid-term break, there is an alternative. Kids cookery clubs and classes spring up all over the country this time of year. Check your local newspaper or library for kids cookery sessions in your area during the mid-term break. Any money spent on giving kids the skills to feed themselves, while having fun in the kitchen, is money very well spent.
KIDS COOKERY CLASSES WITH TARA WALKER OF EAST COAST COOKERY SCHOOL
Tara Walker’s natural enthusiasm and great energy makes her an absolute natural in the kitchen. Being a mum herself to a lively young daughter, Tara knows just how important it is to get kids comfortable with cooking from a very early age. That’s why she has dedicated the coming mid-term break week to a special Halloween Cookery Camp at East Coast Cookery School, perfect for kids between the ages of 8 and 14 years old.
Tara is known for her sense of fun and down to earth approach to making cooking easy. This three day cookery camp will focus on healthy eating and preparation of a healthy lunch in the morning, followed by some scrumptious baking in the afternoon. Tara’s home kitchen at the East Coast Cookery School provides a friendly and relaxed home away from home environment for kids to learn and have fun together, while experimenting with different ingredients and flavours.
Camp runs November 1st -3rd, from 10am-3pm each day. There’s a short break at 11am and lunch the kids have prepared themselves is served at 1pm. In the afternoon, its all about getting the hands in the flour, as the group sets about baking some Halloween treats. All ingredients and recipes are provided for the class. Cost is €95 per day, including lunch. Book online now, to be sure of a place for your budding chef this coming holiday.
DONNYBROOK FAIR COOKERY SCHOOL
Niall Murphy, Head of the cookery school at Donnybrook Fair, is passionate about educating kids in the kitchen. As a result, there are several classes covering all age groups on the programme at DF. On this Saturday 7th October, the Teen Cookery Club from 10am-12.30pm is a half day course which teaches your teenagers how to cook a variety of different dishes. At the end of all the hard work, they get to scoff the lot! €40.00 per teen, booking essential online.
For Transition Year Students, a full five day Transition year Cookery Class takes place on 23rd to 27th October.
This is all about getting young people interested in cooking and feeding themselves with healthy nutritious foods. Niall and his team aim to instill a desire to cook for themselves, for family and friends. Recipe booklets, food costs and lunch each day is included in the week, which costs €250.00. Booking is essential online.
The DF Mid-Term Cookery Camp takes place from 10am -2pm from 31st October to 3rd November. Suitable for kids aged 9-13 years. Lots of fun in the kitchen as kids learn to make healthy food and get to sit down and enjoy it. Feedback from previous classes include mums who say their kids eat better since they learned how to make their own food at the class! Can’t argue with that. If you want your little darlings to be able to rustle up a healthy meal, look no further. Recipe booklet, food costs and lunch each day included. €200 per child, booking essential online.