One of my favorite people to follow on Instagram is Latin celebrity chef Marcela Valladolid. The Mexican Food Network star, entrepreneur, and single mom is an avid Instagrammer, sharing daily photos of her life with her 10-year-old son Fausto. As a chef, much of her life revolves around the kitchen, and so these are the images that she shares – pictures of herself cooking for friends and prepping for TV segments, and even the simple breakfasts she makes for her son before school.
She also loves to bring her son into the kitchen, teaching him to cook and letting him help with the preparation of meals. Recently, while showing him how to make homemade pizza, she commented, “It's not what I do for him, but what I teach him that will make him a happy and successful human being. And whatever he grows up to be, he will NEVER be hungry.”
It’s a simple lesson with a strong message. Of all the lessons parents can teach kids, how to eat well is one of the most important.
And it goes beyond merely teaching kids how to cook, though that is a skill that will certainly come in handy when they go off to college one day. It is also the building of memories and traditions that will help shape your relationship now and in the future.
By inviting kids into the kitchen, you are creating an opportunity to bond with them while working together to make something important. Feeding the family is a typically adult responsibility. Incorporating your child into this important task engenders trust.
It doesn’t hurt that it can also make dinnertime easier! Picky eaters that have a chance to help prepare the food are often much more willing to try their handiwork.
This recipe for Easy Baked Coconut Shrimp is a natural for sharing with your kids. It’s simple, with only a few ingredients, and requires minimal preparation. Show your kids how to carefully dip each shrimp into the individual bowls of cornstarch, egg, and coconut, and don’t worry too much if they make a mess—the recipe is very forgiving. While the shrimps bake, mix up a healthy salad or a favorite dip to serve on the side.
When the dish is ready, bring it out to the table and sit down to enjoy what is, hopefully, the first of many meals prepared together.
Get the full recipe.