The B4FD Project features blog posts from guest writers that explore the far-reaching benefits of family dinner.

Family Dinner Month 2012: Sept 17 -- Oct 29, 2012


Kitchen Kids – Creating Cooking “Confidence”

by Billy Mawhiney

When I first read my co-founder Grace’s (EatDinner.org) post on The Family Dinner Book titled “Yes, You Can Make Family Dinner: Tips for Cooking Confidence,” it was an epiphany for me. This was not new information, but rather common sense. When someone is more comfortable and confident, they are more apt to repeat that behavior. Thus our Kitchen Kids program was born. In our community of Mitchell, SD, there are currently no programs that offer cooking classes for young children within 70 miles. It was easy sell and, in fact, the class filled up within a week.

I was pleasantly surprised that out of the 5 children attending (we only allow 5 per class to ensure they learn the most they can possible), 4 out of the 5 were boys. It makes perfect sense considering everyone has to eat! Our classes were held Saturday mornings at our local Community Center for one hour.

Week 1: Making pasta – Who knew flour & eggs could be so “cool”?

Week 2: Mozzarella – The pure disgust on their faces when the milk curdled was priceless!

Week 3: Marinara – They were so proud they made 7 quarts of sauce in less than 30 minutes. It was also our first time using knives, immersion blenders and anything sharp–man, was I a nervous wreck!

Week 4: Serving the meal – They invited a parent or family member to join them as they recapped and remade what they had learned.

They all had a great time and have signed up for our next session! If you are interested in donating kitchen supplies or any of our wish list items, just simply go to www.timeatthetable.org.

Billy Mawhiney, Founder of Time at the Table, a nonprofit organization simplistic at heart. We focus on reconnecting families around the dinner table through our workshop’s four main ingredients: Meal Management, Creating Conversations, Table Time, and Building Self-Sustainable families. In addition, we offer a variety of free family services targeted to support families enhancing their own dinner table experience.



5 comments to Kitchen Kids – Creating Cooking “Confidence”

  • This looks amazing! I love that there is no scolding about calories and fat (I presume) but that you are giving these kids skills, sharing a joy of food and having a great time! (Please tell me there are no nutrition lectures about good and bad foods, or warnings about childhood “obesity…” So many times I see great ideas, spoiled by demonizing foods, or lecturing about weight…)

    • Katja –

      Thank you for the kind words. I assure you none of the sort. The entire process is simply getting kids adjusted to the kitchen and show them with a little work they can do really “cool” (we use that word a lot) things. You don’t need to have “healthy” lectures when you use whole fresh ingredients. Being an example holds a lot more power with kids (or anyone really) than lectures any day!


  • [...] post was originally written and posted on the Blog for Family Dinner website. Posted under Classes and tagged with Cooking Confidence, cooking with kids, Eatdinner.org, [...]

  • Love seeing all the pictures of the kids learning as they are doing in the kitchen – such a terrific and important project.