More than 60 children, aged three to six, recently took part in a range of workshops (cooking, sorting, language, etc.) at the La Busette Community Center daycare in Lille (Hauts de France).
The cooking workshops, for example, involved tasting lesser known fruits such as quinces, mangoes, guavas and persimmons, and vegetables like rutabagas, sunchokes, chayotes, parsnips, plantains and black radishes. These cooking workshops provide an educational approach, allowing children to discover new tastes, experiment with new recipes (soups, pies, smoothies, compotes, jams, kabobs, cakes, etc.) and broaden their culinary horizons.
In addition, a group activity called “language time” allowed children to verbalize and express their tastes and preferences (what is this vegetable called? What vegetable do you like? Do you eat vegetables every day? How do you cook them?).
During the vegetable sorting workshop, the children were able to touch, smell, handle, learn about, taste, name and describe fruits and vegetables. In addition to introducing them to cooking, this is also an opportunity to teach them different flavors (sour, sweet, bitter, etc.) and textures (hard, soft, etc.).
Cooking with children is an excellent way to familiarize them with different fruits and vegetables. Children took part in the project by learning simple techniques to make recipes using lesser known fruits and vegetables and ingredients. Through these cooking classes, organized by the La Busette Community Center in Lille, children learn to eat more healthily. They taste their own creations, which they can sometimes take home to share with their parents. This allows them to enjoy a fun moment with their families and gives children a feeling of pride and competence.
An educational and fun cooking class is an excellent tool to approach the various aspects of food: enjoyable, nutritional, sensory, cultural, gastronomic, agricultural, etc. It is an opportunity for discussion that helps children build social bonds in a fun setting and teaches them healthy lifestyle habits!