Cooking is an essential practical life skill. Children can be involved in fire-less cooking to start with. It is a great activity to develop sense of sight, sense of taste and sense of sound.  Cooking is an ideal way to boost a child's self-confidence and teach responsibility.

A kitchen is a learning lab for children that can involve all of their senses. If the child knows the science behind cooking, he can burgeon in any part of the world. And this is what I importantly believe in, make the children so able and skillful that wherever they go, they will survive. Not only survive, but explore and innovate!

I have started fireless cooking with Shaunak, that is, the dishes which require less or no gas-stove-cooking. Also, the microwave/oven part is done by me. He does jobs like sorting, cleaning, mixing, pouring, measuring, etc.

We made seashells pasta last weekend, as a Snacktivity under the theme Oceans and Sea Life. Below is the recipe:

To make the Pasta:

1. 1 large cup boiled Seashells Pasta

2. 1 cup sauteed vegetables (capsicum, baby corn, zucchini)

3. 1/2 cup or more white sauce

4. 1 tbsp Italian seasoning (it contains dried basil, chilly flakes, oregano)

I provided Shaunak- boiled pasta, cooked white sauce and other ingredients. I asked him to smell and look carefully at all the ingredients first and then do the below steps.

How to make:
In a large bowl, add the boiled pasta. To this add sauteed veggies and white sauce and give a good mix. Then sprinkle the seasoning and give a good mix again. Pour it into a baking dish. Add sauce if leftover and sprinkle the remaining cheese all over and bake it under 180 degree C for 10 minutes.
Let it cool down. The child can now serve himself and others in the family and enjoy the meal together.

Learning Opportunities:

1. Sensory development

2. Math skills- fractions and measurements

3. Life skills- pouring, mixing, stirring, tasting

4. Language development- addition of the names of the new ingredients to a child's vocabulary- during pasta recipe I introduced Shaunak to new words like- seasoning- white sauce- sauteed vegetables, etc.

Have you started involving your children in the kitchen and food related jobs? Please do share with me in the comments.

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