It’s always interesting seeing my friends on Facebook share what their kids do with their summer free time. While mine bounce between their music instruments, sports, playing video games or board games and streaming videos, other tweens are baking. Maybe mine haven’t considered it because I’m not one to do much baking. Maybe I haven’t encouraged them or given them permission to do so. Maybe it just hasn’t crossed their minds. Whatever the reason, it wasn’t on their “let’s do this” list of activities for the summer.
The girls have been spending a lot of time in front of electronics, so I decided to make sure some of their weekend was screen-free. They had expressed an interest in baking something, going so far as to look up kid-friendly recipes on Pinterest. I had them create a grocery list, we hit the store to stock up then that afternoon they made no-bake cookie balls all by themselves. Upon completion, they said “Let’s do this EVERY day.”
Let me tell you, those cookie balls tasted delicious, and I gorged myself in a healthy helping of pride and admiration for their new-found interest. I’m not sure why it didn’t occur to me before. We regularly watch cooking competitions on TV and they have even commented on wanting to be a contestant. They have even helped with baking during the holidays, but never asked to make anything themselves.
I decided that now is the time to embrace and nurture their interest in cooking. In addition to letting them help in the kitchen, I’ve put together a list of shows on Netflix they can watch as an alternative to cartoons and tween shows. We always say that screen time is okay as long as it is offset with something educational. I think cooking shows are a “healthy” alternative.
These 5 titles are cooking shows for kids that are available through Netflix Kids and don’t require adult supervision.
I started watching this when it first came out years ago. Alton Brown doesn’t just show how to cook something. He explains the science behind it. If kids understand some of these basic concepts, it will be a good foundation for learning more.
This is one that the girls and I watch regularly. It teaches about unique ingredients and how they can be incorporated into a dish. It also demonstrates how even professional chefs can make mistakes and learn better (or different) ways to make something.
This one is near and dear to my heart because Ree Drummond has roots in the blogging community.
Who doesn’t love a good cupcake? My girls learn about creativity, but about compassion and competition as they see contestants put forth their best work, which often is amazing, and still don’t win.
The intersection of artistry and engineering. Creating a beautiful and intricate cake is more than just learning to bake. It requires a firm understanding of physics and construction to ensure the cake doesn’t topple over.
The following 3 titles are ones I let my 10 and 12 year old watch with me, but they required an adult log-in on Netflix.
While this show isn’t available on Netflix Kids, it does carry a “TV-G” rating. It’s a traditional cooking competition with some interesting twists. Overcome some competitive adversity and you may find yourself the last chef standing.
This is extremely inspiring because you get to see people before they were stars. Once again, competition is the basis of the show, but it also offers the opportunity to learn some important cooking lessons.
Iron Chef was one of the first cooking competitions that I watched. It’s always cool seeing how two completely different things can come from the same ingredient, and equally as interesting hearing what the judges have to say.
Cooking and baking are valuable skills to have and encouraging your kids to learn at an early age is always helpful. It gives them a sense of confidence and many years to hone their skills. If your kids want to join you in the kitchen, let them. In the meantime, find other ways to foster their interest in the culinary arts.
What is your favorite cooking show to watch?