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  • Writer's pictureChef Ashley, Back 2 Basics Cooking

Cooking Up Confidence: 8 Things To Consider For Your Budding Chef

Hey, there parents of cooking enthusiasts! Got a budding chef who's brimming with excitement but just needs a confidence boost? You're in the right spot! Get ready to embark on a culinary adventure with your little ones! This guide is a jammed packed with fun and straightforward tips that will ignite their passion for cooking while giving them the culinary confidence boost they may be needing to thrive in the kitchen. Let's transform their time in the kitchen into an exhilarating journey, brimming with laughter, learning, and, of course, lots of delicious treats!


Are you ready to create unforgettable memories together? Explore these helpful tips to help your little chef feel more at ease in the kitchen and savor the delights that come with it.

A father and son looking into a mixing bowl holding a handmixer inside a commerical kitchen with text that reads "Back 2 Basics Cooking Cooking Up  Confidence: 8 things to consider for your budding chef written by chef ashley"

Start Simple: Start by exploring simple recipes that pack a punch! Don't underestimate the magic of uncomplicated dishes. Kick off with kid-friendly options like DIY pizzas or taco night. These easy-to-make meals not only boost kitchen confidence but also ignite their passion for the next culinary adventure. And if making the dough from scratch is not your thing, head over to Shakepeare's Pizza right here in Columbia, Missouri. Grab a couple of their delectable dough balls to take home and enjoy with your favorite sauces, cheeses, and toppings!


Celebrate the Kitchen Mishaps: Even the best chefs have a kitchen blooper or two. So when your little one swaps sugar for salt, just laugh it off! Turn these goof-ups into funny stories, showing them that making mistakes is part of the fantastic journey of cooking. When I'm in a rush to get dinner on the table and there's a chance something might need to be remade, I usually don't involve my children in the cooking process since they're still young. This way, I can avoid getting frustrated and keep the cooking experience positive for them. However, when I have the time to truly enjoy the process, I encourage them to join me in making simple dishes. This allows us to learn from any mistakes together and move forward.


And let's be honest, we all have our fair share of our own mishaps in the kitchen when it comes to following recipes, don't we?! At the age of 17, I had an amusing incident where I accidentally caused a pot of boiling water to catch fire. Fortunately, the situation was swiftly controlled, resulting in no harm or damage. Although I do not recommend attempting such a feat, It's actually pretty funny to look back on now, especially considering that I am a cooking instructor now!


Let Your Mini Chef Take the Lead: While it may be tempting to intervene and assist, do your best to resist the urge. You'll likely be amazed at their capabilities when given time to explore and learn! Granting your child the freedom to handle tasks on their own, even if it results in a bit of mess, fosters their confidence and enhances their skills.


Are you looking for some real-life examples of how your little ones can help out in the kitchen at home? Here are a few from the past couple of weeks at our house. Our 11-year-old took charge of making delicious tacos one night and spaghetti another for everyone's dinner, while our 6-year-old skillfully prepared scrambled eggs for himself and his brother a few mornings. Even our 1-year-old happily participated by assisting me in washing vegetables and stirring some batter. The oldest two even unload the dishwasher every weekday! I will be writing a more detailed post on this topic later and will include the link here.


Explore Bold Flavors: Embark on a global culinary adventure! Inspire young chefs to embrace adventurous flavors and diverse cuisines. Whether it's savoring authentic Italian pasta or indulging in zesty Mexican salsas, they'll discover a whole new world of taste sensations. During my last summer camp, some of the kids surprised me by choosing to experiment by adding leftover fajita seasoning to some broccoli before adding it to the oven, and they absolutely loved it.


Host Kitchen Dance Parties: Who says cooking can't be a celebration? Put on some music, bust out your dance moves while you stir and chop. Injecting a sprinkle of fun can elevate any recipe, making it more exhilarating and transforming your kids into enthusiastic chefs! We turn many activities into dance parties at our house and I love it. I will never look back and say I wish we had danced less! I find that dancing is an excellent way to relieve stress. What's better than enjoying yummy treats with your little one and relieving stress at the same time?


Share Foodie Adventures: Let your mini chefs show off their culinary creations with family and friends. Whether it's a backyard tasting party or a community potluck, sharing food is a wonderful way to bring everyone together and let your kids shine. Many of the children in my cooking classes are eager to take home some of their creations to share with someone. It is truly heartwarming to witness such generosity and willingness to share.


Connect with Other Food Enthusiasts: Collaborate with fellow food-loving parents to create your own cooking club. Share recipes, exchange tips, and participate in online foodie forums for added support. It's like having a secret ingredient for a smoother, more flavorful cooking journey! Personally, I thoroughly enjoy connecting with other food enthusiasts during my cooking classes, eagerly absorbing their valuable insights and advice. The amount of knowledge I've gained from them is astonishing - it often feels like a friendly exchange of wisdom rather than a one-way teaching experience.


Savor Kitchen Achievements: Every triumph in the kitchen, no matter how small, is worth celebrating. Click photos of their tasty victories or start a foodie scrapbook to showcase their culinary genius. Another exciting suggestion is to establish an Instagram account dedicated to showcasing your children's creations. For safety purposes, you can oversee the account, but they will be thrilled to see a collection of their dishes and it will greatly boost their confidence. Encourage them to take pride in their hard work and achievements!


Let's hit the kitchen with our mini chefs and arm them with a spoonful of confidence, a sprinkle of fun, and heaps of love. Tie on those aprons, assemble your ingredients, and get ready for the delicious aromas and belly laughs to fill your kitchen. Every cooking session with your mini chef is an opportunity to build a stronger bond, whip up delightful memories, and experience pure joy!


Are you looking for some extra inspiration and hands-on cooking fun to boost your child's culinary confidence? Well, look no further! Check out my kid-friendly cooking classes right here in Columbia, Missouri. You and your budding chef can dive into our class offerings and unlock a goldmine of culinary adventures! Let's create some delicious memories together!

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