The real world is a lot less "Disney princess" and a bit more "Cinderella" -- at the beginning of her story -- than most children's experience may lead them to believe.
Childhood is magical, yes.
It should be - a child's mind is such fertile soil for ideas, wonderings, and imagination.
Nothing should take the magic out of childhood - but it doesn't have to be a fairy tale because someone is waiting on you hand and foot.
Bread rising is magical.
Egg yolks emulsifying oil into a solid approaches mysticism.
And using a big, sharp chef's knife at age 6?
Better than kissing a frog prince!
Let's Learn to Cook!
I'm Katie Kimball, mother of 4, former teacher and master mess maker in the kitchen, and I let my kids play with knives.
When my first child was still in utero, I finally began learning about how diet affects my body. (You mean Hamburger Helper and low-fat salad dressings weren't helping me achieve the pinnacle of health??? What???)
It's been quite a journey.
The more I got into cooking, the more I realized my kids need these skills too - and what better time to start than right away?
I began teaching my children skills in the kitchen for a few reasons:
- As adults, they'll need these life skills.
- I want my sons to be incredible husbands someday!
- Being involved encourages them to try new things.
- Cooking together creates opportunities for conversation about healthy eating...
- ...which I hope will mean they can rely on their own good choices rather than doing what Mommy wants until they're out of sight.
- And finally, quite simply, I needed help. Delegating tasks to children became a necessity as our family grew since I make everything - really, everything - from scratch.
Want That for Your Family Too?
I'm here to teach your kids how to cook - but you'll have to let them past the guards at your kitchen door. :)
It's so. so. SO. hard to slow down enough to invite young people to cook with you, I know. (<< read "excruciating")
That's why I created this eCourse to help you out.
Kids Cook Real Food covers 10 weeks of classes at 3 different levels/age groups.
During each lesson, I teach one skill per level (sometimes two) for a total of over 30 vital kitchen skills.
Sure, you can find cooking classes elsewhere online, but they don't demonstrate adaptations for tiny hands and break down each step for various developmental levels.
Anyone on YouTube can demonstrate a recipe for you, but who will teach your tot the finer points of proper measuring and how to hold the bowl while mixing (or coach you in the best practice for learning based on brain research)?
We use fun phrases like "pacman the lid," "send the choo choo train trough the tunnel," and "snowplow it flat."
We talk directly TO the children, but the course is designed to be a project for parents or caregivers and children to embark upon together.
Why spend your quality time together chasing the next big thrill, paying a mint for a theater movie, or playing games your kids could play with their age-group friends?
You can hit two birds with one stone by working together in the kitchen - memories and family togetherness achieved, real skills for adulthood gained.
Plus, this is finally a class that all your kids can do together - no more trying to find time to meet the needs of each age individually. You can all spend time together AND have a final product that you can eat for dinner.
UPDATE: Bonuses Added!
ALL backers at every level will now receive three additional bonuses - these goodies will usually be only with the top tier of access to the course, but for Kickstarter backers, everyone is a winner! (Added 7/22/15)
What you'll get along with the backer reward you choose:
1. Free excerpt from Real Food Kids, an eBook from Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS. You'll get 5 fantastic chapters that I chose to complement what the Kids Cook Real Food course will already give your kids. (the book is a $20 value)
2. A Table Chore Chart, nighttime kitchen list and chore philosophy from Amy at Raising Arrows. This homeschooling mother of 8 (maybe 9...I've lost count!) knows her stuff when it comes to keeping kids organized, trained, and helping, in the kitchen and out.($5 value)
3. Super Healthy Kids meal plan membership. THREE FULL MONTHS of kid-friendly meals, planned with whole food ingredients, seasonal fruits and veggies, and families in mind.($24 value)
- Whether you're baby-stepping your way to real food or a veteran who doesn't even remember what boxed mac and cheese is, you'll find something to love in the SHK meal plans - 4 recipes each day, shopping lists, customizable to fit your family's tastes, low sugar, no specialty "fancy foods," and perfect for picky eaters.
I'm so happy that my colleagues at Traditional Cooking School, Raising Arrows and Super Healthy Kids have partnered with me to sweeten the pot for all of you who are taking the challenge and committing to teach your kids how to cook and how to appreciate REAL FOOD.
Backers will receive these bonuses sometime between July 30 and the launch of the eCourse in September, but only if we reach our Kickstarter goal!!
You teach your kids to make toast...I'll teach them everything else. :)
The Kids Cook Real Food course curriculum is divided into 3 modules: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
There are recommended ages for each one (2-5 years, 6-7 years, ages 8 and up), but they are very flexible depending on your child's personality, small motor control and current cooking skill level.
- For example, if your 9-year-old has zero experience in the kitchen, he might need some of the beginner lessons and will definitely need the intermediate module before he can move on with the advanced skills.
- If your 4-year-old has an intense interest in cooking, is great at following directions and trustworthy, she might be able to move on to many of the intermediate lessons.
- And if you've got a 14-year-old who needs to be able to cook his or her way out of a cardboard box, there's no shame in taking both intermediate and advanced lessons at that age! (Many adults may pick up a new skill or two, in fact!)
Here are the skills taught at each level, although I've listed them out of order within the module, since the organization is part of the beauty of the course.
Each module (beginner, intermediate, advanced) builds on the next, and each day's lesson coordinates such that all the age groups work together to create something good to eat.
(If you only have one age group, it still works out - the parent can finish the tasks if working with a small child, and an older child should already have all the skills to complete the easier steps each day.)
BEGINNER (listed out of order)
- Carrying glass dishes to serve
- Peeling vegetables
- Measuring ingredients
- Making guacamole
- Peeling hard-boiled eggs
- Making rolls
- Slicing with a dull knife
- Soaking dry beans
- Making a salad
INTERMEDIATE (not in sequential order)
- Stovetop safety
- Flipping pancakes
- Steaming vegetables
- Introduction to sharp knives
- Setting the table
- Making homemade salad dressings
- Browning ground beef
- Rolling dough
- Hard-boiling eggs
- Mixing simple recipes
- Cracking eggs
- Cooking rice
ADVANCED (not in order)
- Sauteing vegetables
- Using a food processor
- Making a full meal start to finish
- Sharp knife skills, levels 1-4
- Crushing garlic
- Oven safety
- Cooking eggs
- Cooking fish
- Cooking dry beans
- Separating eggs
- Making homemade mayo
- Washing the table
UPDATE: Stretch Goal Unlocks New Lessons!
My stretch goal is $10,000.
Crazy just writing that!
That amount of support would allow me to film much more professionally and edit tighter so that each demo for the kids is as succinct and clear as possible to respect a child attention span.
I would also add two additional lessons for all backers at every level:
- Grocery Shopping (for all modules, beginner, intermediate, and advanced)
- Meal Planning (mostly for the advanced age group - good for parents, too!)
Check out the update from 7/25 for ways you can help this stretch goal (and the course) become a reality!
Why Bother Teaching Kids to Cook?
We live in a country (in the U.S. at least) where cooking is becoming a lost art.
Fast food, frozen dinners and boxed mixes have replaced cooking from scratch as the stand-bys at our national table, with disastrous consequences.
This young generation will be the first NOT to outlive their parents' generation, and the "diseases of civilization" are out of control: obesity, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension and autoimmune diseases get diagnosed in younger age groups and higher volumes than ever before.
We are a sick nation, and it's time to make a change.
From suckers at the bank to Gatorade and doughnuts after every sporting event, our kids are inundated with sugar and junk food every time they leave the house.
Learning about healthy food isn't going to happen "out there."
It starts at home.
If we teach kids to cook, to appreciate healthy foods and have the skills to make it themselves, we give them the tools they need to build a foundation of vibrant living for the rest of their lives.
If we teach kids the nuts and bolts of nutrition at the same time (and we will!), we give them the weapons they need to fight against the tide of culture trying to sweep them downstream into the pit of chronic disease and prescription medication.
We're going to change the world and the future of our children's health, one kitchen at a time.
That Time I Tried
I've proposed major systemic change in our local elementary school: I tallied up how much sugar kids consume in a year just for birthday treats and in-school "celebrations," but my plea to find a non-food alternative to cupcakes fell on deaf ears.
In fact, the administration banned me from talking at the parent group meeting.
I left the 90-minute, frustratingly circular private conversation with the principal trembling...I was definitely knocked down, but the fight hasn't gone out of me one bit!
I still am impassioned to save our nation's youth, and if I can't do it at a local level (yet - I'll keep trying), I hope you'll allow me to come into your household and inspire your kids to love real, fresh foods, to cook with whole ingredients consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole dairy, meats, fish, spices and some whole grains (all recipes have gluten-free options, most grain-free as well).
I firmly believe that forming our kids' palates to enjoy a wide variety of healthy foods is the antidote to this national sweet tooth problem we're mired in.
And the best way to encourage kids in a non-threatening environment to try new things?
Let them into the kitchen to be part of the process, and let someone else other than their parents be a good influence.
Your kids will get to see my kids get excited about cooking, about eating real food, and about trying new things. A little positive peer pressure is definitely a bonus with this eCourse!
Oh, and if you're wondering - I figure each child in elementary school probably consumes TWO POUNDS of added sugar each year just in the treats they eat during the school day that were not sent from home.
That's one ingredient you won't see in the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse.
My kids are just like your kids - They love to play. They can be stinkers. They're often stubborn as mules. And they can be the sweetest things ever.
On the other hand, my kids aren't always like most other kids - Sometimes they skip eating after-soccer snacks. They peer pressure friends into trying crazy gateway foods like grapes. And they really do eat their veggies (we didn't pay them to make that video, promise).
In fact, we've faced a table full of whining kids when we're out of cherry tomatoes, and they really get upset if we're out of cucumbers for more than a day.
Truly, my husband and I sort of just look at each other over the din at that point thinking, "I'm not sure whether to reprimand or rejoice!"
They're pretty excited to be "starring" in the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse, and I look forward to "introducing" them to your kids! (P.S. - One of the bonuses at the top level of access to the course includes a live webinar where your kids can ask me and my kids questions. Fun!)
What Will You Receive?
I'm so excited to share this curriculum with you, and in my typical Kitchen Stewardship style, you can expect uber-thorough materials that cover all your FAQs before you even need to ask them.
Each lesson includes:
- One major SKILL to learn in the kitchen (occasionally two)
- An introductory video to watch together (all levels together)
- An adult-only video with tips for parents and guides
- PDF pages for each skill level module including:
- prerequisites for the skill
- developmental readiness and/or kid-friendly notes for this skill
- tools needed
- notes on applications demonstrated in the video
- daily nugget (nutritional factoid)
- extensions - how else could this basic skill be used?
- recipe for today (demonstrated in the video)
- other recipes using the same skill set
- flashcards to help kids remember safety notes, daily nuggets and more
- The lessons will be delivered once a week for 10 weeks and then you'll have access to them for the duration of the product, guaranteed at least one year (but likely years and years and years).
There's no fluff, no games, and no glitter.
The Bottom Line
If we want to change the future of our kids' generation and how they approach food, to heal their relationship with food, this is how we do it.
We teach them to work with food, to be intimate with what they eat, to understand where food comes from far beyond the box at the grocery store.
We've seen it happen in our own family, and we're excited to bring it all to life for yours.
But the eCourse can't become a reality unless people actually want to participate.
What Level is Right for You?
I hope you're ready to jump in and commit to making time to cook with your kids, and I'm thrilled to hold your hand and direct the process.
NOW is definitely the time to reserve access to the eCourse, because the pre-sell discounts are much less than the launch price will be in September or October (and I have some fun ideas for bonuses that I'll be able to unlock for ALL backers if we surpass the Kickstarter goal!).
EARLY BIRD PASSES
For the first 20-25 backers at each level of access, the discount is $10 more than the already-discounted pre-sell price. Those will go fast!
UPDATE: Yikes! The full access early bird passes are gone already before day one is over!
ACCESS TO ONE MODULE
Single module access (regularly $29.95) is the right fit for you if:
- your children already know all the skills in the beginner and intermediate modules and you only need the advanced module
- you have only a preschooler and a limited budget and don't want any further instruction to hold onto for later years
- you want to test the course to see what it's all about before committing to all 3 modules
FULL ACCESS TO ALL 3 MODULES
All module access (regularly $59.95) is the right fit for you if:
- You have children in multiple age groups/skill levels
- You want to be able to work with your child through various skill levels
- You have a young child who can grow into further modules
- Your older child(ren) doesn't know all the skills listed in the beginner and intermediate levels and you want to make sure you can cover everything needed for the advanced skills
- You don't have time for the support group or live webinars included in the top tier access bonuses
FULL ACCESS PLUS BONUSES
This bonus level includes all the videos, all the PDFs, and all the recipes at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels PLUS:
- two live webinars, one FAQ with me and one Q&A with my kids
- a 10-week exclusive Facebook group for support and camaraderie (and direct access to me) I will only run this support group at launch time this fall and maybe once a year - but maybe not ever again.
- the chance for additional bonus lessons that may be unlocked if we surpass the Kickstarter goal by enough
Full access plus bonuses is the right fit for you if:
- You like the idea of getting at all 3 modules but also want more
- Personal interaction is important to you - being able to hear from other parents teaching their kids to cook (in the Facebook group)
- You like the idea of being able to ask me questions directly as you go (I'll be very active in the Facebook group)
- You want the positive peer pressure for your kids of being able to chat live with my kids
- You see that it's a good deal to spend a little more to get a lot more :)
What's the Real Value Here?
Obviously, your kids learning to cook for themselves (and your family!) is a massive value for their future and their current health.
But monetarily, what might you expect to pay for cooking lessons for kids?
There honestly aren't many if any available for free on YouTube. I checked.
If you can find a live class in your area, it looks like they cost about $21-35 per person for a 90-minute class, one time, according to what I found online.
Each lesson the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse will likely take your child 30-90 minutes to complete, depending on their age and the skill presented.
With 10 lessons, that's an equivalent of $69-350 worth of live classes, per child.
Through the pre-sell deal, you can get all the classes for all your children (30 total lessons!) for just $50 and live support for only $20 more.
Although I have many successful products at Kitchen Stewardship, I've never embarked on a major video project like this, and video done right is expensive. Here's a breakdown of all the costs to create the eCourse, not counting any of my own time or effort:
- PDF formatting $300
- editing written material $300
- cover/ad images $50
- video hosting through Amazon S3 $20/month (3 months in this budget)
- video editing: estimated $1000 for filming + $2500 for editing + $170 for travel costs
- food budget $100
- plugins to set up the backend of the course $395
- admin to coordinate testers, schedule emails $250
- buffer for unexpected costs, especially in filming and editing $500
- $29.96 + $35.50 for white backdrop and stand
- possible $137-300 for studio lighting
- ESTIMATED TOTAL COSTS: $5990.46
Risks and challenges
When working with children, there will always be unexpected challenges (and sometimes disasters).
The filming might take far longer than I anticipate (and it might not be the kids' fault, let's be honest here).
I've not worked with a videographer before, so we'll have some learning curve growing pains getting used to each other's styles.
I don't typically fail at things completely, but projects often take longer than I think they will - so I can imagine that although I may hit a few hurdles that will slow down my timeline, I always make it to the finish line.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (13 days)