Hi! My name is Julian and I’ve been cooking since I was 3 years old. I love cooking because it’s super fun and I get to be creative and try new things. Plus, I think its really cool that I am building a life skill where I know I can take care of myself and my little sister. I have a business called The Step Stool Chef that’s all about inspiring kids to be leaders in the kitchen just like ChopChop Magazine. I think kids can do anything they put their minds to and cooking is a great way to build confidence and independence.
Here are 5 ways cooking helps to build kids’ confidence:
- Helps kids make decisions – Cooking is all about making decisions. Even if you have recipe, you can also decide if you want to change it up. You can get creative and make ingredient substitutions or even decide how to cook it differently. It’s YOUR recipe. You can do what want!
- Helps kids stay focused – Cooking has helped me stay focused… a lot! It can be hard for kids to stay focused and not get distracted. But cooking can be so fun, it grabs their attention that they can’t wait to finish what they started.
- Kids can be in a safe space to learn from their mistakes – When cooking, it’s ok to make mistakes. In fact, I’ve made plenty mistakes myself. But the important part about it, I‘ve learned from my mistakes. And I know parents can be nervous like when kids make a mess or hurt themselves but it actually helps kids so the next time they know what to do and how to be careful.
- Helps earn parent’s trust – Kids want to cook all the time and toddlers are always saying “I can do it myself”. The challenge is that some parents are not letting them. Does this sound like you? Well when you give kids a chance, they can surprise you and do great things. Just think about it… how great would it be if your kid made dinner for the whole family. I’ve done it and my parents now trust me to do even more things and it makes me feel really proud.
- Kid can learn leadership skills while having fun – When learning to cook you are also learning to how to plan, get organized and try new things. Most importantly, kids feel really proud when they take charge of something like making their own breakfast. Cooking builds skills that kids will need in the kitchen AND in life.
Julian Frederick is a member of the ChopChop Kid Advisory Board.