Got Kids? Then Get Cooking!

Even though the target for The Bachelor’s Kitchen is single grown-ups, we sometimes get asked how we can get kids to eat better. We’ve talked about improving school lunches. But what about at home? While we aren’t parents, we can pass along advice from the experts, advice that can apply to adults as well.

During recent years, Americans seem to have rediscovered cooking at home and the joy of making your own meals. This was encouraged further by the economic downturn which has made eating out too expensive for many. Along the way, people have found that cooking can be fun, creative and educational.

Trying-A-New-FoodBut getting picky eaters, like kids, to even try some new food creations coming out of the home kitchen is a real problem. They have been seduced by television commercials for juicy hamburgers and colorful toys. One food blogger wrote about how her young boy loved cooking with her and eating the food she prepared. But when he started school, all that went away with requests for burgers and fries. Peer pressure is a big influence on kids. But she found a solution by taking her boy to a children’s cooking class, where he met others like him who loved their mothers’ cooking. The boy learned it was okay to like food that wasn’t what the other kids were eating.

Experts say the best thing to do is get kids involved in cooking as early as possible. Let them help prepare and measure ingredients. If they are old enough, they can help with shopping and meal planning. With supervision, let them do some cooking. Teach them about the ingredients and where they come from.

Helping kids learn about food and cooking can only make them better, less picky eaters.