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by Your Child Nutrition Expert Jill Castle

My Little Man Chef

November 28, 2012 | In: Cooking with Kids, Parenting

My Little Man loves to cook. He’s had his hands in the mix since he was very young. I remember him between ages 2 and 3, sitting on the countertop on Saturday mornings with Father of the Year, adding cups of pancake mix to the mixing bowl and stirring.

Before long, he was cracking the eggs, flipping hot cakes and now, at age eleven, able to tackle the whole endeavor by himself.

Yes, it’s taken a long time—almost ten years. But, I’d say, he’s ahead of the game, and the benefits are mounting. If you wonder what cooking does for kids, read this.

Teaching my son to cook hasn’t’ been a struggle (though, sometimes his requests to cook have come at inopportune times), nor a forced agenda. On the contrary, it has been quite pleasant, with interest and suggestions coming from him—and often, very little involvement, other than supervision, from my husband or I.

A natural, organic process I’d say.

My Little Man approaches cooking like a science experiment, carefully watching what is happening as food becomes transformed. He tries new food combinations (like the fried rice he is preparing in the pictures), different tools, and new spices (he’s moved forward with an interest in pepper).

And just like the research articles suggest, he enjoys eating what he has prepared.

Like most moms, I want my children to know how to cook when they graduate to the real world. Knowing my child can cook gives me a sense of security–if they can cook, then they can take care of themselves.  I also want them to know how to eat well— eating the right amounts, and the right balance of foods for their health with foods that they enjoy.

I can’t think of a better way  to accomplish these desires than getting kids in the kitchen to cook.

On my son’s eleventh birthday, he selected a dinner menu of steak, artichokes with hollandaise, and fried rice. He proceeded to inform me that he would be making the fried rice for the family—and he did!

Is your boy getting into the kitchen? What has he made lately?


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5 Responses to My Little Man Chef

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  The Scone Recipe Even a Middle-School Boy Can Make by Just the Right Byte

June 26th, 2013 at 11:07 am

[...] son is on a baking bender. He has a history with cooking, and is now onto the baking phase.  It’s a stage many children move through in their [...]

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  Damn You, Food Allergy by Just the Right Byte

October 31st, 2013 at 9:39 am

[...] my son made a Halloween cake for his school class, carved a pumpkin and roasted pumpkin seeds. An independent effort on his part I was delighted to support. What dietitian mom doesn’t want to see their child baking [...]

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  11 Things Parents Do Wrong with Kids’ Nutrition by Just the Right Byte

January 14th, 2014 at 4:53 pm

[...] Provide plenty of options for your child to be hands-on in the kitchen and your teen freedom to experiment with food. Answer nutrition questions when they come [...]

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  You Can’t Win for Losing on The Biggest Loser by Just the Right Byte

February 6th, 2014 at 10:50 am

[...] know how I am passionate about getting kids into the kitchen? Well, next week I get to be part of an exciting program where I teach teens and athletes about [...]

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  Easy Fried Rice by Just the Right Byte

April 9th, 2014 at 10:39 am

[...] many of you know, my son likes to get in the kitchen and cook fairly routinely. Last week when I was in Florida visiting my [...]

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