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If you want to actually teach cooking you just might need a lesson plan, or even lesson plans. I must admit that I'm not much of a lesson plan person, I mean, I do sometimes get as far as creating a plan for something I want to do, but if I even get that far the chances are that the plan will get buried somewhere on my desk and go no further. So, what am I doing writing about cooking lesson plans then? This is where we talk about the power of Google. If you want to find something that isn't junk on Google you gotta know the keywords and if you want information on how to do something with your kids, "lesson plans" are two good keywords for searching with. The great thing is that you don't really have to be a lesson plan type of person to find something useful this way. Still reading? OK, let's talk about cooking with kids.
It seems to me that most homeschoolers are resourceful folk, people who actually know how to cook family meals, or at least are interested in learning. Since our kids most likely see us cooking every day, there seems little need to actually teach cooking in any kind of formal way; if they help out in the kitchen, or even just hang around while we do stuff, they will be learning a great deal. However, we all need a little variety at times and new cooking and food is great for this. I also hear over and over how kids who are very restrictive in what they eat will eat things that look fun or that they cooked themselves. My own kids are past this younger stage and are pretty adventurous eaters: I find I'm looking at helping them to learn what they need to know to be self-sufficient as they plan for independence. My focus is not so much on gourmet recipes as on good, healthy, simple meals that are easy to prepare, can be done with minimum equipment and contain inexpensive, basic ingredients.
With all of the above in mind I did a little, or maybe a lot of, web surfing to see what kind of good resources I could find to share.
- Kids-Cooking-Activities.com has information on what children in each age group are ready to learn. Do you have an Assistant Chef, or Chef in Training in your home? They also have lots of recipes at their Kids Cooking Blog and a range of e-books.
- If you'd like to eat your way through history, try FoodTimeLine.org where you can read about food from 17,000 BC to the present day. They have links to recipes, to pdf versions of all kinds of cookbooks like The Woman's Suffrage Cookbook, and to e-books including English Housewifery by Elizabeth Moxon from 1764. They even have a recipe for Yorkshire Pudding, which perhaps I ought to try!
- Read about Ten Items for Your Kids Cookware Kit at Cooking With Kids. If your kid wants to become a chef for the holidays, or for a birthday, Amazon.com has some lovely looking
kids cooking sets, or take a look at Montessori Services for a selection of practical food preparation tools.
- Got kids who enjoy Arthur, Caillou or Between the Lions? Check out Cooking with Kids at PBS.
- If you like lots of delicious photos with your recipes Home and Family Network has pages of recipes for doing with kids, all accompanied by mouth-watering photos.
- Readwritethink.org has some intriguing lesson plans related to menu design. It's not cooking, but it's a nice way to tie in graphics art and language arts with something that gets the taste buds working and might encourage picky eaters!
- And if you've just not had enough links yet, get additional ideas to spark your creative juices at Suite 101 Healthy Cooking or visit The Vocational Information Center, which has culinary and food science lesson plans and a lot more besides!
I've seen such great recipes with photos at blogs too - please do let me know your favorites :-)
Brought to you in association with Amazon.com - home of wonderful children's books.