When I was a little kid, I never wanted to go into the kitchen and help my mom make dinner. Sure, I would do the dishes and clean up the kitchen afterward, but there was no way I was going to stop watching what my father calls "squeaky voice television" to chop vegetables. I saw it as work, not pleasure.
It wasn't until I finally stepped into the kitchen and helped my mom make dinner that I realized just how much fun cooking can actually be.
If you have children and want them to learn how to cook but can't get them interested, turn on the recently aired MasterChef Junior show on FOX, where kids ages 8-13 are showing off their cooking skills in challenges similar to the original adult format.
Here are five reasons why kids' cooking shows rock and why children need to watch them.
5. Demystify the Difficulties of Cooking
When most kids watch a cooking show on television, they are probably going to think that a featured dish sounds tasty but that it's too difficult to make. And that's probably because the person making the food is an adult. Opening the door for kids to enter the kitchen starts with putting them in the spotlight on television. If a ten-year-old sees another child whip together a complicated dish and get praise from a renowned chef, such as Gordon Ramsay, then he or she is more likely to say, "I want to try that."
4. Give Kids Another Activity
While sports, singing, playing musical instruments and participating in a variety of clubs at school is wonderful, if a child isn't interested in any of those, cooking is a great option for an extracurricular activity. It takes practice, skill, technique and time to master, so if your youngster really enjoys creating his or her own recipe for apple pie or chicken noodle soup, giving the child the opportunity to work in the kitchen will provide him or her with hours of fun and learning.
3. Teach Kids the True Origins of Food
I was shocked when I watched Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution a few years ago and saw that the majority of kids don't know French fries come from potatoes and that ketchup is made from tomatoes. So many children in our country don't have a basic understanding of where food comes from, but if they are inspired to step inside the kitchen and cook a meal from start to finish, they will discover that some of their favorite foods come from fruits, vegetables and other "real" products.
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2. Let Kids Express Themselves
Cooking is personal, and the food created is a reflection of the person who made it. When a child can put his favorite foods on a plate and serve them to friends and family, he's sharing a part of himself. This helps the child grow stronger inwardly and express himself through his culinary creations.
1. The Parents Are Entertaining
Okay, this reason isn't about kids, but the parents on these cooking shows are quite entertaining. It doesn't matter if parents are watching their kids play a sport, perform on stage or compete in an academic decathlon, they will cheer and chant for their child to win, even if that encouragement comes in the form of jabbing fighting words at other parents. Who doesn't want to watch kids fight for victory while their parents argue with one another about how perfect their child is in the kitchen? It's hysterical.