Cooking with Kids: What We’re Doing Now

Teaching My Kids to Cook Deliberate ReaderYesterday I shared about the books I tried in my attempt to teach my kids to cook, and admitted that I’m not using any of them currently, having found something else instead. And let me reiterate – it’s not that any of those books were bad; they’re not. They just weren’t what I was looking for.

I wanted something that laid out an entire cooking program to use with my early elementary aged kids. I wanted straightforward progression of skills, building on what had been learned previously, without asking for future skills before they were taught. I wanted it to be easy for me to use (have a prep list for each lesson, telling me what I’m going to have to do, and what ingredients and equipment we’ll need). I wanted it to include ideas on how to explain things well to young children (like how to use a knife safely). And if it wasn’t asking for too much, I wanted it to include ways to teach multiple ages/abilities.

I’d hoped I’d find this in a book, but after checking out all I could find from my library, and giving a real try to the best one they offered, I was still not completely thrilled with what I was using.

Trying Something New

Finally, on a day when I was frustrated with trying to force what I was using into something it wasn’t designed to be, I went searching online for other options, expecting to find a different book that my library hadn’t had. Instead I found an online course designed to teach kids cooking skills. I had NOT been looking for an online course – I wanted a book! – but I was not having the success I wanted with the books I tried. So looked into it more closely and found that it claimed to offer everything I wanted.

On first glance, I was really impressed with how the course was designed. There are three levels, for beginner, intermediate, and advanced. My older kids are right on the bubble between beginner and intermediate, and I started them with beginner (mostly so I could teach them together; the 7 year old could probably go straight into intermediate).

Here’s a chart showing the skills taught at the three levels:

3-levels-explanation

It all sounded like just what I wanted, so I decided to give it a try.

Why It’s Working

I love how the skills truly do build on each other, and nothing is expected from a recipe that hasn’t been taught.

I’m pleased with how it all ties in together – it’s easy to see a lot of thought has gone into it all, and if you’re working on more than one level at the same time, the lessons often are integrated so you end up with a complete meal. How awesome is that? (We’re not getting that benefit because of my kids ages, but I can still appreciate it and daydream about how it could work someday.) They’ve got a curriculum map that lays all of this out.

It’s easy because my kids enjoy watching the videos. No surprise, but getting to watch on the tablet gets their attention more than me reading from that other book did.

Looking Ahead

We’re in the middle of using the beginner level, but I am so pleased with it that I’ve purchased the All Access plan, and we’ll move onto the intermediate lessons as soon as we finish the beginners. The plan is then to continue on to advanced lessons once they’re ready for those!

I’m also excited to see about including my youngest in on the lessons as well. She can almost participate the the very first ones, and I know she’ll be thrilled to join in as well. She’s always asking to cook too, and loves to put on an apron like the big kids have.

If You’re Interested

The course is only open for new sign ups occasionally. I’ve heard that it will open again soon, so if it sounds good to you, sign up to be notified. You can also read their FAQ page for more details on what it offers.

I’ve been really happy with it, and I’m surprised with how much I like it, considering it’s not at all what I thought I wanted for my kids. Turns out what I thought I wanted and what I ended up liking were two different things.

(I still think I’m getting my kids those fun cook books for Christmas, and by then they should have the skills to really use them).

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored review, and I paid for the course myself. I did sign up to be an affiliate for it once I realized how awesome of a course it was though, and the post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

Three years ago: New on My Bookcase (vol. 7)