4-H In My Youth
I know that 4-H in this part of the country (and many others) means hogs and steers, but my introduction to 4-H was with a group of my girlfriends when I was about eight or nine. One of the moms decided to start a 4-H club for us, so we spent lots of time at her house learning homemaking skills.
Sounds old-fashioned, doesn’t it?
And I suppose it was. But I was just having fun with my friends, learning some food basics, and gaining confidence in the kitchen. I did lots of cooking with my mom so it wasn’t all that new to me, but I loved my 4-H time nonetheless.
That 4-H Club experience helped me to not be afraid of being in the kitchen or of having my children in the kitchen with me. So my kids regularly made salad or peeled vegetables or measured ingredients or made dessert. They assisted with everything I was doing. When they went off to college I knew they wouldn’t starve — or live on fast food — because they were comfortable in the kitchen.
Some of my favorite phones calls when they were away at school were the ones that started, “Mom, how do you make…?” asking for a recipe. (I always knew when it was one son’s turn to cook for his dinner group!)
One of the keys to cooking with kids is to make it fun, not a chore. Kids are much more likely to eat healthy foods when they have had a hand in growing, harvesting, shopping, and preparing the foods themselves.
I always loved to eat this side dish when I was a kid, because I got to make the bunny face!
We didn’t have a lot of junk food around our house when I was growing up–no chips or sodas–but we always had the makings for this kind of a snack!
Invite your kids into the kitchen! It will be fun for you and for them. Teach them how to use the juicer and the blender, the oven and the stove. Maybe you could be that mom who gets a bunch of giggly girls together to learn to be healthy gourmet cooks. They will thank you some day!
I found a very simple kid-friendly hummus recipe here.
I think I’ll be making this recipe with my grandsons at Grandma Camp this year! (They love to be in charge of turning the food processor on and off!)
Enjoy the kids in the kitchen!