School Break

He says:

Last week I gave a cooking class to 10 kids, aged 7 to 11 years old, as part of the after-school program for South Kelowna Elementary School. I introduced them to some exotic fruits and vegetables, and had them taste these foods raw and cooked. Then for kids in the class that could see on top of the stove, I also had them learn the basic skills to make the perfect omelet.

I had a blast and I would like to tell all the parents out there, you should do the same during spring break. Any day is great, actually, but during the break usually there is a bit more time to spend together. Older children can also show younger siblings. Your children need to be introduced to different foods if you want them to be able to fend for themselves once they leave the family nest. Start as early as possible and force them to experience the kitchen. Yes, I use the word force because some kids need to be pushed until they do. Force them to touch food, cook food, and of course they have to taste everything too. It is also a great idea to have them read labels of what they eat to realize what’s in it. So many kids have health problems, weight problems, attention problems and energy problems. You are what you eat, so teach them to eat better and when they leave your house they will have the skills necessary to give themselves the proper nutrition they need to become our next world leaders.

If anything, do it for the same reason as I did - I just want to be able to have a great meal when I go visit her when she is living on her own. I started teaching my daughter at 7 years old so she had lots of time to practice! Yes, it’s a selfish reason, but she eats well and knows how to cook basic meals already at age 13.

She Says:

I hope I can help illustrate the Chef’s point, as I can tell you that many of my memories of Spring Break as a child did involve cooking. We didn’t go away when I was little, so entertaining ourselves in the kitchen was one of the ways we could entertain ourselves. Even when I got older and we did go on a ski holiday, I remember being in a condo that had a kitchen and making fun meals like gourmet pizzas and chili. It is memories like these that turned me into the Foodie I am today!

We need to be reminded on a regular basis that we are connected to the rest of the world, and what we do (or don’t do) makes a difference. One of the most basic ways we can do that is with our food. It is a product of our planet, and our culture. It is the history and the future all wrapped up in nice little packages. Doesn’t that sound a bit like our children? Such precious cargo, we need to remember to take good care of every single bit of it. Children need to know that every moment in their lives have the potential to make a difference so they can take all those moments in and value each one. So should it be with the food they eat.

I don’t mean to sound preachy, but since everything is connected, doesn’t it make sense that we should have good habits about how we fuel ourselves? And since we are a species that can enjoy an experience, should we not make the most of those experiences? We have to eat, so why not enjoy the process? If children learn to think about enjoying and respecting their food, then it naturally becomes a part of their lives, enriching them not just with nutrients but also with memories.

Please try to spend some extra time with your food this week. Why not have something Irish on Saturday (or at least something green) to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Or maybe try a new food this weekend that you see at the grocery store. If you don’t have kids to challenge you, see if you can think like a kid and make your food fun!

More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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