Children love to ask questions and there are lots of ways to feed their curiosity – starting in the kitchen. Because the kitchen can be a fascinating place for children, cooking is a fantastic activity for them to learn and practice a whole range of skills. Plus it gives them an understanding of food and where it all comes from.
But I know what you are thinking - inviting them into the kitchen to cook is like a recipe for disaster waiting to happen, no?
Well, not if it is a kitchen other than ours!
Camp Asia - the leading Holiday Camps provider in Singapore - is launching its new Saturday Super Chef program where children 6 to 16 years get hands-on cooking and learn the importance of eating healthy food. Run over an 8-week session on Saturdays at Stamford American International School, children in different age groups will learn everything from everyday recipes as well as basic kitchen hygiene and safty which are integral to becoming confident cooks.
After teaching over 1,000 children to whip up recipe after recipe during Camp Asia's Super Chef holiday programs, Head Chef Tim Ong has joined Camp Asia as its resident culinary consultant, so that kids will not have to wait until the next school holiday to enjoy a great cooking experience.
And I was not being patronising when I said great cooking experience. Because having to manage the curiosity - and a barrage of endless questions - of the kids is never easy, I have to say Chef Tim performed admirably when it came to keeping the cooking class well under control as well as keeping the kids' interest piqued at the same time.
The monkies already love helping out in the kitchen at home so you can probably imagine the joy when they found out they were going to whip up four dishes: French Toast, Egg-in-a-hole, Chocolate Fondant and Chocolate Freckles.
Seeing the smiles and joy on the faces of the kids, I guess it isn't difficult to conclude that they all thoroughly enjoyed the cooking experiences.
Especially when it involved the use of a blow-torch!
I suppose it is nothing less than a 5-star rating then?
But the Saturday Super Chef classes are not all about fun. Not only does cooking teach essential math skills such as measuring and weighing and comprehension skills, letting the kids peel, chop, stir and serve also helps children develop their hand-eye coordination - like separating the yolk from the egg white.
Following a recipe also means focusing on the job in hand and allowing children to develop their concentration skills.
Depending on the age of your child, there are three different age-appropriate 8-week courses: Little Chefs (Ages 6 - 8), Homemade Fast Food (Ages 9 - 11) and Dishes To Save Your Life (Ages 12 - 16). But the same end result holds true for every course - they will be clamouring to try their own creations after the class!
Letting kids learn how to cook gives them an important lifelong skill and one which gives them the opportunity to learn about food and create good eating habits as part of a balanced lifestyle through the growing years. After all, we parents would not want them to solely survive on fast food and instant noodles in future right?
The monkies, along with their friends from EdUnloaded, definitely enjoyed their one-off cooking class with Chef Tim Ong.
But the greatest takeaway from the class was not the chocolate lava cakes they brought home, it was learning a few easy-to-prepare recipes and more importantly, some of the basic rules in the kitchen regarding safety and hygiene.
Besides the weekly Saturday Super Chef classes, check out the Easter Holiday Camps that Camp Asia is running too. In addition to cooking classes, there are science and sports camps to keep kids occupied. View the full schedule HERE.
For more information on the Saturday Super Chef classes, visit www.campasia.asia/saturday-super-chef.