Lil's and Jolene on the RTE Today show - Feb 2023

Kids in the Kitchen – Teaching kids skills to cook for their future

With the rise in popularity of TV programmes such as Junior Bake Off enticing kids into the kitchen across the nation, I can sympathise with parents’ stress levels going through the roof with the thoughts of the creative mess and clean-up operation afterwards. But wait!

Little tips like remembering to prep first weigh and lay out the ingredients in separate bowls for younger kids leaves less waiting around and more time for them to get stuck in with the task at hand. Keep to recipes with a few simple ingredients that involve little prep and even less equipment. Less equipment means less washing up. During our classes, we always chat about the importance of cleaning up too.

During our Kids in the Kitchen cooking classes, we like to go back to basics using clean scissors, a grater, a wooden spoon and a mixing bowl as our main cooking utensils.

The kids and parents are always amazed at the results they achieve. All the recipes for the class are developed so they are doable for children, they can fully immerse themselves in the class and feel pride of what they have cooked at the end of class.

We love the idea of making the kitchen the heart of the home, building life skills, and a family bond.

Looking ahead to the summer I understand how hard it is to keep the kids entertained over the school holidays, so there is no better time to get the kids into the kitchen, to have fun and interact with each other, while learning basic cooking skills and creating delicious meals. From lunches to dinners, savoury to sweet, there is something here for everyone to enjoy.

Each class includes an hour-long zoom session which is recorded and saved to our private member’s area with easy-to-read printable recipe cards.

Cooking is an extremely important life skill for children to learn. In our opinion, cooking with kids can be so much more than just making cupcakes and licking the bowl. Getting them involved in the food prep of everyday meals from a young age not only teaches them about ingredients and where our food comes from, but it also gives them life skills that they will have forever.

Drawing on her own experience, cooking together is just as much about building a bond by having those one-on-one chats as it is about the final creation. Entrusting our kids with little cooking tasks gives them freedom of self-expression, a sense of responsibility and self-worth.

The key to getting kids in the kitchen is to give them little jobs that are age appropriate. These are ‘little things they will enjoy doing, making it a fun learning atmosphere at home’.⁠ Drawing from experience, some ways kids can help at any age with kitchen prep include: stirring pancake batter⁠, peeling garlic and onions⁠, tearing lettuce for a salad⁠, slicing mushrooms, weighing and adding ingredients⁠, assembling pizza toppings, egg washing pastry⁠, and flouring beef⁠. She explained that as children grow, ‘they will develop the skills, attention span, and interest to do bigger cooking jobs, like cracking eggs, mashing potatoes, even breading cod/chicken’. ⁠

It is proven that having simple recipe videos does play a role in helping to support families to cook from scratch. We give a visual, reassurance, and flexibility to work at their own pace, giving enjoyment while growing confidence. The difference in our recipes is that all the ingredients can be sourced in any supermarket and can be cooked and press to the plate in minutes.

Since the lockdown in 2020 we are proud to say we have cooked with over 350 children, as life has slowly returned to normal and our kids went back to school we continue our classes every Tuesday at 5 pm. This is not a fad of the pandemic, our mission remains the same:

We want every child in our cooking club to have the skills to cook for their future self!

In the past 3 weeks, we have cooked:

  • Mixed fajita tray bake
  • Spaghetti Carbonara
  • Chicken tikka masala

A few words from our members

My son is the fussiest eater you will meet! We started the kids in the kitchen with one yummy mummy (& Lils!) and I can’t believe the difference in him. He is willing to try everything- even if he might not like it- he will taste it properly whereas before, he refused point blank to even taste anything new! He adores Lily-Mae in the live classes and follows everything she does. Jolene is so patient and has time for everyone- no question too small or silly (I need to ask how to do everything!) The recipe cards and shopping lists are also so handy to have from the website and make meal planning a lot easier!

Lindsay and Nathan Dublin

Highly recommend the classes….my little boy was a picky eater, he dismissed food before even tasting them. We’ve noticed a big change since the classes….he is trying new foods & even tasting foods he wouldn’t have gone near before. Jolene is so lovely & my kids look forward to the classes every week. Well worth it!!!

Eimear and Kids Dublin

The best thing we ever did was sign up for the weekly cooking classes. My 7 year has built up her confidence and self-esteem so much. Plus she enjoys the classes and has loads of fun. Would highly recommend these to any child, you won’t regret it.

Gillian & Annie Cork

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