Start ’em young – teaching my first cooking lesson

The kids with the enchiladas

The kids with the enchiladas

Those of you who know me, know my love of food and cooking. While our two girls are being infected with this enthusiasm for cooking and eating well, I figured it may be a good idea to take it up a notch and try and teach other kids how much fun cooking can be, and of course, subtly implant ideas around better and healthier eating habits etc in their heads. And so we had my first pre-pilot cooking lesson for kids. I am calling it a pre-pilot because this was a “friendly” crowd. The kids were children of friends and family. I hope to do a pilot later in the summer. The theme was Tex-Mex and we made Spinach Quesadillas, Veggie Enchiladas and Baked Churros.

Making the quesadillas

Making the quesadillas

There were four kids in the class ranging in ages from 8 till 12. The ability to cook varied but they were all interested in cooking which was wonderful. We started out by leaning about hygiene and how cleaning up before and after is very important. We then moved on to chop and prep vegetables. The kids got a big kick out of using real knives. We talked about the best way to hold a knife as well as chopping techniques. We also talked about a trick I had learned from my friend Sandy on how to peel garlic cloves. This was another hit with the kids because they really enjoyed smashing down on the knife blade to get the peel off. The kids also got to chop onion using a trick I had posted earlier. The session, of course, was supervised so no kids were harmed in the course of the lesson.

Chopping veggies

Chopping veggies

We were in the class for two and a half hours and the time flew by fast. The kids ate what they cooked and pretty much everything was polished off.

SIDE NOTE: I think kids eat better if they have a hand in cooking the meal. They have less to complain about because they are responsible for what they put on their plate. I am basing this on my experience with my picky-eater daughter.

I like the quesadilla

I like my quesadilla

After the class we talked about what the kids liked and what they didn’t and I got some great feedback which I hope to incorporate in my classes going forward. But the best compliment came from my friend Amy’s daughter Annalisa. The day after the class she made Spinach Quesadillas for her entire family all by herself. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome from the class.

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7 Comments

Filed under Classes

7 responses to “Start ’em young – teaching my first cooking lesson

  1. NUPUR SHANKAR

    Sanjiv,
    That’s great! It must be very rewarding to teach kids to cook. I’ve been thinking of trying out baking with Rithvik but have too much inertia to get started!
    All the best in your endeavors.
    Nupur

  2. Thanks Nupur. You’ll have fun with Rithvik. Just get started. He will feed off of your enthusiasm.

  3. Nirat

    This is really great stuff ! are there any videos you shot as well ?

  4. Sandy Gennrich

    Sounds like fun… and I forgot I showed you the garlic clove technique. I just showed that to my mom last weekend.

  5. Hi Sanjiv – browsed here from your FB update. Nice work. I wanted to share my favorite garlic peeling technique – which I am sure would also be a big hit with kids! Check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0d3oc24fD-c

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