My lazy sunday interneting bought me to Culinate, where I read this piece called A child's place is in the kitchen. It articulates why cooking is a great thing for children to participate in.
This past week in the classroom, we cooked twice. We had an excess of carrots, so we made some carrot oatmeal cookies. The vote afterwards revealed that 9 children enjoyed the cookies and 4 did not. That's pretty good for vegetable cookies.
Our second cooking experience was for a birthday. This year, I am having the birthday child choose what they want to cook (soething special - it does not have to be a cake), and their parent comes in to help us with the cooking project. We made a vanilla cake with pink frosting, per J's request. But the result was less than stellar. It tasted like lemon bars and it did not rise at all. But everyone had a piece with a smear of pink frosting, and everyone liked it. It was a close one, though.
I think children should experience cooking - but not everyone is going to love the result. It actually allows an opportunity to talk about our different opinions on food. And as teachers, we have an opportunity to expose children to foods they might not be having at home. Involving parents also brings in foods that the classroom community might not be familiar with.
We might go a little more savory with our next recipe - some hummus perhaps. How do you incorporate cooking into the classroom?