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Occupy Your Kitchen with your Family

Posted by Julia Smith on

It's family day on Monday and I can't think of a better way to spend it than together in the kitchen. The dark, dreary days of February are a great time to gather around the counter in the warm & cozy kitchen with the people you love the most. 

Families that cook together experience many benefits. In addition to fostering family togetherness, research shows that it also:

  • prevents behaviour problems
  • improves academic performance
  • builds communication & social skills
  • helps to develop lifelong good eating habits
  • improves family health

The kitchen is a marvelous classroom where kids of all ages can experience math, physics and chemistry in action. Working together offers a great opportunity for collaborative, cooperative learning in an environment that also fosters the development of vocabulary. The end result is usually a sense of pride and accomplishment but can sometimes offer the even more valuable learning that comes when things don't go as expected!  

Why not use Family Day as a launch pad for a new family tradition of cooking together at least once a week? Your kids can experience all the benefits of more traditional extra-curricular activities and you won't find yourself driving around feeling frazzled and hitting the drive-through. Instead, spend some family time in the kitchen where you can all relax, enjoy each other's company, learn something and enjoy a delicious, home-cooked meal.

We have family size CSA subscriptions available now. Sign up for a "Farmer's Choice Beasty Box" and a "Harvest Box" and you'll be well on your way to Occupying your Kitchen with your family!

Enter our Family Day Contest

Send us a photo (and/or tag us with it on social media) of your family cooking something from the farm and you'll be entered to win an "Occupy Your Kitchen" T-shirt and a gift box valued at $100!

Don't have kids but have some time and skills to share?
Consider volunteering with an organization like Growing Chefs!

Age Appropriate Cooking Skills

Preschool (2-5 years)

  • stirring in a bowl
  • rinsing & straining fresh fruits & veggies
  • pouring liquid ingredients
  • spreading on bread
  • mashing potatoes & other cooked veggies
  • rolling bread or pie dough
  • using cookie cutters
  • cutting soft fruits & veggies with a dull knife
  • measuring liquid & dry ingredients

Young Cook (6-8 years)

  • whisking eggs
  • frosting cupcakes & icing cookies
  • mixing dough & batter
  • using can opener, juicer, garlic press
  • grating cheese
  • peeling fruits & veggies
  • mixing & rolling pie dough
  • making fresh pasta with a hand-crank pasta machine
  • whipping cream with a hand mixer
  • using paring or other small knives
  • boiling eggs, pasta & veggies
  • basic pan frying like eggs & grilled cheese

Preteens (9-12 years)

  • trimming & slicing fruits & veggies
  • putting food in oven and removing it
  • working with timers & thermometers
  • baking quick breads & muffins
  • kneading dough and letting it rise
  • cooking soup
  • using specialty appliances such as a panini press & waffle maker
  • steaming rice
  • roasting veggies
  • cooking pancakes on a griddle
  • using a food processor, blender & stand mixer
  • pan frying burgers, sausages, bacon
  • using a chef's knife and other larger knives

Teenagers (13-16)

  • Using all kitchen appliances including cleaning
  • developing knife skills to efficiently chop, dice & mince
  • baking more complicated yeast doughs & pastries
  • making risotto
  • marinating foods
  • pan frying & grilling steaks, chops & other meat
  • using slicers & mandolins
  • using & cleaning outdoor gas & charcoal grills

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