ad // Knowing what you want to do from a young age is a tough decision. I think we’ve all gone through plenty of “phases” as to what we want to do when we grew up. Mine ranged from hairdresser to fitness instructor to police officer and more. Rarely children will know what they want to do but they might have a passion which will give you an idea of where they might go.
But showing children different hobbies at a young age is great because it will broaden their mind and allow them to explore different things and trying and figure out what it is they enjoy. Cooking and the culinary business is a great option – albeit not one you might have thought of. Here are 6 ways to encourage children to get involved in cooking:
Introduce them to cooking from a young age
Obviously in a safe, supported and supervised environment but there’s really no age restriction on when you can start teaching a child to cook! Perhaps not a roast dinner by the age of 7 but smaller and more manageable recipes that they can get their teeth into and take pride in making. You can also allow them to use tools like this cooking ingredient conversion calculator.
Encourage them to try new foods and flavours
And introducing different and exciting flavours is a great way to expand that knowledge of ingredients and flavour within different types of food. Perhaps ask them to substitute something in a meal for another flavour they think would go well and see which amazing invention they come up with!
Allow them to play fun culinary games
There are plenty of fun, free culinary games for children to play which are related to the culinary industry. Penguin Cafe would be a great game for younger children. It’s very easy and straight-forward and I think they would love the penguins in it too. Open Restaurant is an annoyingly addictive game, which has to controlling a little man who runs a restaurant (all on his own) and you have to hit a target income every day for the restaurant in order to proceed to the next level.
You have to juggle showing people to their tablets, taking their orders, delivering their food, settling the bill and cleaning up so it’s definitely a bit of a hectic game but it shows how demanding restaurants can be – although this is just a game it can definitely give a kid the idea. Games are always a great way to get children involved and interested in different aspects of life!
Make them aware that it’s a career path
The culinary industry is a tough industry. Whether you’re a manager of a restaurant, a chef, a waiter or something else. Sadly, many people in the hospitality industry lost their jobs or were put on furlough during the pandemic and many of these people were already on minimum wage and rely heavily on tips from their jobs.
This isn’t something to shy away from teaching people, especially children. If it’s a career path they’re interested in a passionate about then you should support them by giving them all the information. Show them tools like this tip calculator so they can start to learn for themselves.
Introduce them to inspiration figures
There are plenty of amazing, inspirational chefs and bakers that children would love to learn about and learn from. Depending on whether they prefer cooking or baking (or both), consider who they might be inspired by and perhaps let them watch their cooking shows (if appropriate), buy them a cook book from that person or allow them to watch YouTube interviews.
Let them explore and experiment
If cooking is something they’re really passionate about, you don’t want to curb that passion. So it’s great to let them explore and experiment. If they fancy trying a new dish, let them. If they want to try a new food, let them. You could even let them make up their own recipe! You never know what might happen.