There is no shortage of good reasons to encourage the presence of children in the kitchen. International studies suggest so explaining to the little ones where it comes from and how to prepare the ingredients contributes to a healthier eating habits for the rest of their lives. In addition, it promotes family bonding, encourages creativity and teaches about responsibility and teamwork.
The period of holiday school is especially great for children to change the toy pots for the real ones – with, of course safety and mature guidance at all times!
“From the age of 2 you can already show how to stir the dough of one pancake or how to break one egg. The contact in a fun and loving way helps with the consumption of a greater variety of foods”, says the chef and researcher Aline Chermoula.
Recipe for yam mousse with cocoa by chef Aline Chermoula — Photo: Leo Feltran / Editora Globo
Mother of a girl and a boy, Aline has been teaching cooking classes for children for over a decade. In 2021, the book released Chefs from the diasporawhich talks about African American cooking for children. “The idea was to get the little things through the curiositytell stories and bring scents that can mark their memory”, she says.
In addition to good hygiene and safety practices in the kitchenthe work teaches how to do income simply with ingredients that are heritage from the African continent, such as pumpkin, sweet potato, coconut, kale and tamarind. For example, there is the step-by-step burnt coconut cake and the yam mousse with cocoa.
Coconut cake recipe with roasted coconut topping by chef Aline Chermoula — Photo: Leo Feltran / Editora Globo
With a similar bias, of appreciating typical foods of Brazilian gastronomy, the chef Rodrigo Oliveira, from the Mocotó restaurant, in São Paulo. Prepare colored tapioca – with coffee dough, couscous and beetroot – for the morning meal with his five children is one of the opportunities he takes advantage of to spend more time with them.
“Food is a cultural and educational act. It is important to involve children to show that food is not born in the market, but in the field, and then goes through various processes until it reaches the plate,” he says.
Tapioca recipes with colored pasta by chef Rodrigo Oliveira — Photo: Léo Feltran / Editora Globo
For Rodrigo, one of the ways to make the activity more attractive is to present some challenges in the form of a game: a specific amount flourbreak the egg without undoing it egg yolk or grease a mold.
“I also like to include my children in decision-making and ask them to choose, for example, which seasonings we will use. The playful aspect of this moment allows me to teach them emotional values and even basic concepts of mathematics, history and geography,” he adds.
Encouraging children’s participation in food preparation has permanent consequences. According to a survey by the University of California at Riverside (UCR), in the United States, Child nutrition affects the health for the rest of your life.