The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE -

ASA mother of two – a 7-year-old and a 1-yearold – I must ad­mit I did not equate hav­ing my kids cook­ing with me in the kitchen qual­ity time.

Im­ages of my kitchen look­ing like a food bomb hit it, me scream­ing my head off and thus mak­ing them mis­er­able was what I fore­saw in that day­mare (that’s the op­po­site of a day­dream, ac­cord­ing to the 7-year-old).

But af­ter a chat with Mondisa Go­duka, aka Mo, owner of The Kids Cook­ing Club in Cape Town, I think I can start see­ing things dif­fer­ently.

You see, in a time when even 25 hours in a day just isn’t enough, we need to dou­ble up and even triple up if needs be with work, fam­ily time and keep­ing a home – like feed­ing hun­gry tots real fast!

Mo ex­plains how get­ting phys­i­cally ac­tive in pre­par­ing food can boost our chil­dren’s cog­ni­tive and so­cial de­vel­op­ment (and as a plus, you can get some fam­ily time and meal out of it, too!)

While most par­ents think keep­ing kids busy in the kitchen is just a messy af­fair, Mo sees it dif­fer­ently: “The kids get to ex­per­i­ment with dif­fer­ent foods and uten­sils in the kitchen and in this way they are able to learn about the dif­fer­ent tex­tures, tastes and looks of what they eat.

“Once you com­bine fun and learn­ing, you will get the best re­sults.”

On the de­vel­op­men­tal front she said there were many tech­niques and skills that can be learned in the kitchen.

“Grat­ing, chop­ping, pinch­ing, rolling are all among the ac­tions that de­velop their fine mo­tor skills. They also get their sen­sory skills go­ing with the dif­fer­ent tex­tures, tastes and ap­pear­ances of the foods. Get­ting messy is also part of learn­ing and de­vel­op­ment which the kids en­joy!”

Most times, be­tween work and school, the food prepa­ra­tion and eat­ing process be­comes a rushed job and a me­chan­i­cal process. Mo says there’s much to gain from pre­par­ing a meal with your child: “First, it’s so much fun, as a mother my­self. See­ing how ex­cited the kids get when they make their own food, whether it’s cook­ing or bak­ing, no mat­ter how big or small, you will be sur­prised at how bril­liant they ac­tu­ally are and ca­pa­ble of do­ing things them­selves. Why not do some­thing fun and ed­u­ca­tional with a de­li­cious re­sult… it’s the per­fect way to bond with your chil­dren.”

And on that note The Kids Cook­ing Club has shared one of their pop­u­lar recipes – Pizza Wheels. “Dur­ing our weekly term classes our kid­dies re­ally love the Pizza Wheels; they’re fun, quick and su­per yummy. En­joy!”

Mondisa Go­duka, aka Mo, owner of The Kids Cook­ing Club in Cape Town, in ac­tion.

Get­ting kids in­volved in the kitchen al­lows them to learn about dif­fer­ent food tex­tures and tastes.

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