That was the first thing my 8 yo asked as we began watching “I Can Cook” from CBeebies. On offer in this first episode were “Carrot and Courgette Muffins”, obviously an attempt to promote healthy eating to children. Both my boys watched entranced from the very beginning of Episode 1, which we were very lucky to preview last week.
Unlike other children’s cooking shows, including the awful “Planet Cook”, “I Can Cook” is about kids actually cooking. From start to finish! Usually, we see children in similar shows helping the adults – by measuring, adding and mixing ingredients. Here, they even get to find some ingredients in the garden and pull them out of the ground! I loved that part! My longing for a vegie patch of my own again vindicated, as, obviously, it is a very important educational tool.
Each “I Can Cook” episode has a group of five kids under 6 preparing one dish ALL BY THEMSELVES, under the watchful eye of “head chef”, Katy Ashworth. For safety (and liability reasons, I assume), some of the food preparation methods are appropriately adjusted – something I was not quite sure about. Is it better to teach children to safely use standard kitchen equipment from a young age or to buy child-safe tools? I guess each of us needs to figure this out for ourselves.
For example, knives were nowhere to be seen, instead, carrots and “courgettes” were snapped into smaller pieces and placed into a rotary grater, and scissors were used to snip parsley and spring onions in the second episode.
The children were, however, allowed to crack open an egg!
There is plenty of washing of hands and tidying up too, which, to me, are very important aspects of teaching anyone to cook and are a big priority in our household.In the second episode, the children make salmon fishcakes and the most amazing thing for me was that they actually ate them! Just like those muffins!
I asked my boys if they wanted to go and make carrot and courgette muffins after watching the show, but they said no, because they wouldn’t eat them. However, when I offered to consume their efforts, they were very enthusiastic, because cooking was so awesome. I suspect, however, that the awesome involved a rotary grater. I may have passed on to them my gadget obsession… Hmmm….
I Can Cook serves up a selection of simple recipes and top cookery tips for kids under 6, as well as opening them up to the full cycle of food as they learn to connect what’s on their plate with the world around them. What are your favourite things to cook with your kids?
Tune in to I Can Cook weekdays at 12pm on CBeebies – Channel 705 on FOXTEL and AUSTAR
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