Important life skills are developed through our program:
• Nutritional awareness
Healthy nutrition practises are introduced in a fun way – “healthy” becomes desirable. Suddenly peas are eaten just because they made it themselves and not because Mom forced them to.
• Environmental awareness
By incorporating vegetable and herb gardens, children are being taught not only where food comes from, but also how it supports the vitality and sustainability of our regional agriculture. They are also taught how the local economy is boosted by buying local as far as possible.
• Sensory Skills
Cooking develops all five the senses. Through our hands-on approach, children taste, touch, smell and see food while having to listen to the chef in order to be able to finish the task set to them.
• Social skills
Children work in pairs which teach them to share and co-operate in order to achieve a goal. They learn from each other and how to interact in a group. The opportunity also exists to learn about other cultures by being exposed to children from other cultures and their food.
• Motor skills
Large and fine motor skills are being developed while cooking while eye-hand coordination is enhanced
• Mathematical skills
Kids are taught to count, weigh and measure correctly while preparing recipes.
As classes are conducted in a real-life kitchen environment, the children are exposed to the inherent dangers of food allergies, burns, cuts, etc. They will be taught how important it is to work safely.
• Emotional Development
Having to follow a recipe and do something out of the ordinary, give children the competence and confidence to face challenges. They develop a positive self-image and sense of independence when succeeding, which in turn, leads to social acceptance.
· Language skills
The language of food and gardening provides many new terms and names for children to learn and use in conversation. This is a language which they would not necessarily be exposed to in ordinary life.
The Kidchen Concepts Program is developed with the very close involvement of Exec Chef Barry Farnan who, with an 8 year old of his own, knows exactly how difficult it can be to get a child to eat – until the child has made it himself! Chef Barry develops the recipes and does hands-on classes. We also work closely with professional dietician Lynn Mincher, who develops our nutritional modules and keeps us on the right track when it comes to healthy food.