Encouraging Kids in the Kitchen & The Rewards!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

This post could have been titled, A Foodie in the Making, lol.

I've written before about how blessed I was as a child to have a Mom who stepped aside in her own kitchen and allowed me to LEARN. I loved being in the kitchen. She really fostered that in me. I tried hard to be that same Mom to my kids. Over the years they have all enjoyed being in the kitchen and as a homeschooling family, I tried to use kitchen time as learning time.

My youngest son (#3 of 4 children) turns 18 tomorrow. He has been the one with the MOST interest in cooking by far. Probably started when we bought him a Little Tykes kitchen for his 2nd Christmas (much to the dismay of the menfolk in the family, lol). He always wanted to know what was going on in the kitchen, why you do things a certain way and how can that be done better! At one point, he expressed interest in becoming a chef. That has passed but he does work part-time in a local grocery store and he helps me in my part-time catering enterprise. And does that boy enjoying watching FOOD channel.

He expressed an interest in making Christmas dinner. A pretty big task. He thought he was ready and so did we...afterall, we would be there if he ran into trouble. He performed like a pro. We are so proud of him and did that meal taste wonderful. Our Christmas Menu doesn't change much from year to year. Roast Beef, Yorkshire Pudding, some sort of potato, brussel sprouts and usually a salad. This year he also made Cauliflower Gratin for me since I don't eat potatoes.

So, when you allow your kids to spend time in the kitchen, you teach them skills they will use their whole lives AND they may be so inclined to make you a feast some day!

The Feast all plated up!

Yorkshire Pudding

The roast beef taking a rest.

Happy 18th Birthday Son!!

Sharing at Mz Helen's very first Full Plate Thursday and Michael's Foodie Friday! Thanks for hosting ladies!!


  1. Kristen said...:

    That's so sweet - and congrats to him! The meal looked amazing!

  1. Karen said...:

    I am so impressed with your son! Wow!! And Yorkshire Pudding... My mother made that occassionally and I have always wanted to try making it, but was too "scared". Happy Birthday to your son. Maybe he'll have his own show on the Food Network someday.
    Thanks for your visit today.
    Ladybug Creek

  1. Miz Helen said...:

    Hi Gail,
    I was so happy to see you here today. Happy 18th to your son. What wonderful memories and what a wonderful meal. Thank you so much for coming to Full Plate Thursday and please come back!

  1. Happy birthday to your son! And what a wonderful cook! He must have had a fabulous teacher. I am so impressed.

    This is such a good lesson for mothers. We need to, in most situations, step aside and let children learn by experiencing while we are nearby and have a watchful eye and a whole lot of encouraging words. If our children don't learn for themselves we will be raising very dependent children with low self esteem!I see young adults like that all the time!
    BRAVO for both of you!
    Gail, no wonder I feel you and I are kindred spirits!
    xo Yvonne

  1. Debbie said...:

    This is just wonderful! I can't hardly believe your son did it all. You have obviously done a great job Gail!!

    I sure hope my girls can find a fellow like that.

  1. Diann said...:

    Hi Gail!

    that is great your son loves to cook. And it looks like he has skills in the area! Maybe we will someday see him on the Food network!

  1. Gail, I was the third sister and wasn't in the kitchen very often. My kids love being in the kitchen and how great when they make something and it takes such a load of me! Your son's meal looks fantastic and happy birthday to him! Joni

  1. Your son did a great job on this meal, it's not the easiest. Someday he will make his bride happy by sharing in the cooking. My girls never paid much attention to my time in the kitchen but are a little bit more now that they are entertaining their boyfriends!


  1. Shabbygal said...:

    I'm with you Gail! I raised 2 boys to cook. Congrats to him on turning 18 and having such great skills in the kitchen! Hugs, Traci

  1. Yum! My hsing kids are cooks too. I want them to know how to survive when they move out and feed themselves healthy and thrifty if need be. Great post.

  1. Alison said...:

    Wow! I am so impressed! I love when kids show interest in cooking. When my nieces are here (my daughter is still too young) I always have them help me in some way to prepare lunch. I think they look forward to it. They always ask if they can do anything to help.

    Happy Birthday to your son!

  1. Mary said...:

    That really is an accomplishment. Weather it's nature or nurture it is wonderful to see another generation succumb to the siren call of the kitchen. It looks like a wonderful meal. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  1. Tina said...:

    My son Jason is the same way! He has always been by my side in the kitchen. He makes up his own recipes..like he's doing tonight with some left over brisket!
    When we homeschooled, I bought each of my children the Betty Crocker beginners cookbook. They would pick out recipes and would cook for us on Monday nights. I would grade them on it for Home Ec. Of course they Aced the class!
    I know how proud you are of your son! I feel the same way with mine!

  1. Happy 18th birthday to your son. I hope my daughter would love being in the kitchen when she grows up!

  1. How sweet for your son to cook dinner for you all. I like your blog and the Cast Iron Cooking is great! I'm your newest follower. Have a good day!

  1. I think that's awesome that he's so interested in cooking. Most kids now days only know how to microwave! I appreciate my mom more than she knows letting me "in the kitchen". My parents had a huge garden and me and my sister always had to help snapping beans, shelling peas and shucking corn. Although she hated it and always thought of it as a horrible chore, I loved it and still do canning today. My mom says she doesn't know how I do it with kids running around and all and I always remind her "well mom you used to do it too!" Some of my fondest memories right there!

    Thanks for sharing!

  1. Sharon said...:

    How very special!!
    Have a blessed Day! Sharon

  1. I absolutely love your blog....the opening picture just beckons me to come in. I look forward to reading through your blog and following you as well. I am fairly new to the blogging world. blessings and hope to you and your family.

  1. I think this is wonderful! My daughter started cooking with me at about 2. She is now 26 and loves to cook. She is the "Martha Stewart" of all her friends, who not only don't cook...neither did most of their mothers! So sad.

  1. Chels said...:

    Happy Birthday to your son! I think it's so important to encourage our children to join us in the kitchen. Whether they are helping us out or simply observing or running in and out playing. That's what we offer our children to do and they thrive from it. And I hope down the road it will enforce of a love of cooking too.

  1. Miriam said...:

    This is a great reminder to me to encourage my kids to do more in the kitchen, they are do eager to help. Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  1. Pattie T. said...:

    I am so impressed with the Yorkshire pudding! I've always wanted to make this but never have.

  1. Happy Belated Birthday to Jared! It is great that he has a knack in the kitchen! In my family, only my nephews (19 and 22) have shown interest in the kitchen, the girls rather spend time with friends and books! Thank you for dropping by my blog. You have a lovely site here. Have a nice day and A Happy New Year!

  1. Cathy said...:

    Happy Birthday to your son, Gail! He prepared a very impressive, delicious Christmas dinner. I love it when my children showed an interest in cooking and helped me in the kitchen. They all grew up to be cook cooks. My grandmother was my inspiration.

  1. Happy 18th! to your son. What a great student to learn how to cook such wonderful things. And what a wonderful feast full of love.

  1. Robin McKay said...:

    ummm....yum....that totally beats out my soup, lol! Thanks for visiting my blog so that I could find yours!

    Have a sweet day,

  1. bj said...:

    OMGOSH, GIRL...how WONDERFUL this all is. So so cool to have a son cooking in the kitchen.
    Looks as if he did a fantastic job.
    Maybe he will be a professional chef ?

  1. Donnie said...:

    What a beautiful meal. Both my sons learned how to cook at home and still cook for the family occasionally. They also can sew, iron and clean. One son made jingle money in the Coast Guard sewing on patches for the other guys. Your son did a fabulous job.

  1. Kathleen said...:

    Wonderful! When my gson was 4 he asked for real cooking tools...spatula, whisk, etc. Of course he ran around whacking his brothers! But maybe with luck, he will take after your son! 13 yrs to go, hope I can still chew! :)
    Dinner looked delicious, and Happy Birthday!

  1. Miranda said...:

    Love this! Would like to invite you over to Fat Camp Friday @ Mangoes and Chutney. The linky is up all weekend and one blogger from the linky party is featured every Wednesday. http://www.mangoesandchutney.com/2011/01/fat-camp-friday-10-blackened-tilapia.html

  1. Tina said...:

    Thank you for your sweet words on my blog and on the Gooseberry Patch page! You have brightened my day...again!

  1. BonjourRomance said...:

    Bonjour Gail,
    Congratulations to your son, the Christmas meal looks delicious. Even Yourshire pudding - I am impressed. You must be very proud of him.
    Bon weekend,

  1. Wohoo!!!! I love this...you are raising a very self sufficient young man! Congrats Mom! I am raising my son to (hopefully) be able to do this too someday :) Love, Janelle

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