February 4, 2015

Cooking with Kids

Category: Being Parents

Cooking with kids is always a great way to bond and although I am a big advocate of this, this is something that I don’t nearly do enough with my little tots.

Being working parents, our weekends tend to be mostly errand days and the mornings filled with activities for the kids. When it comes to cooking, I don’t have the luxury of time to meander along as I want to finish up as quickly as I can so we all can get to other things and then squeeze in a little quality time with them outside my rushed kitchen. Or I end up cooking after they go to bed.

Feeling rushed while cooking and having 100 other things you have to do at the back of your head (and trying to squeeze in a little nap, too!) is annoying, and I’m afraid that if I have the kids around with me while I zip through the kitchen, I’ll ended up being even more stressed-out. I’ll be impatient with them taking their time, clowning around and the mess they make.

And I know that if I want them with me, I’ll have to be in a super-relaxed state to just let things be.

And knives. KNIVES! Big, sharp, shiny, crazy-looking knives. I’m petrified of them. Those things freak me out and I shudder at the thought of using one of those big-assed chef’s knives. The irony considering I love to cook.

There’s a term for that. It’s called aichmophobia: the inexplicable and unnatural fear of sharp knives.

The knife I use is a joke. It’s a little blunt, it’s chipped and just good enough to cut stuff up without me fearing that I’ll lose my fingers. (I wrote about my aichmophobia here). Giving a knife to my kids so they could help out in the kitchen? Are you out of your mind?! No freaking way!

Not until I came across a post on Cooking with Kids by Field Notes From Fatherhood that I realised my fear of knives could potentially be debilitating for my kids to learn how to use them properly. In his post, he mentioned this:

By the time he was three or four, he could perform basic kitchen tasks…Our four year old has his own paring knife and vegetable peeler, and they are among his proudest possessions. (By the way, don’t be afraid to let your kids use kitchen utensils; just show them how to use them properly, and don’t leave your toddler in the kitchen chopping carrots with a 10-inch chef’s knife while you sneak off to do bong hits and play Grand Theft Auto.)”

Then, he put up a picture of the dinner which his kid has made mostly on his own.  I’m telling you, I’m in awe!

In my books, a sharp parring knife is not basic for a 4-year old. That’s basic for ME.

So, there is this 4 year old who has jump-started his cooking education since he was a baby and now has his own, personal parring knife, sharper than the sharpest tool in the shed, is just wow!   And then, there is me: a full-grown adult (although in a puny body) who is afraid to go within inches of any sharp knife and refusing to use it.  I should be hanging my head in shame!

Since reading his  post though, this knife-education thing has been looming in my head. I know that if I continue giving in to  my crazy phobia, I may inadvertently be passing down my fear to my kids. I shouldn’t be doing that and I don’t want to do that.

What Field Notes from Fatherhood said in his blog has heightened my awareness of what’s looming ahead. One of these days, when I’m a little more relaxed over the weekend, I’ll dedicate some time to cook together with my 4-year old daughter. After all, she has offered to help several times and maybe, just maybe, I can get over my aichmophia and teach her to use the knife properly. OK..maybe not me. Her father would be a better candidate.

And not to mention that if I get my kids to master using those crazy-looking knives properly, pretty soon, they’ll be cooking for themselves. And for us.

Now, THAT is a motivation.

And, this…THIS is my namesis. I’m not exaggerating. Just ask my husband. *shudder*


Posted by:    |    2 Comment
  1. I loved cooking with my daughter and wished I had done it more often but being a type A personality it took its toll to overlook the fun of flour everywhere, etc. That being said, I too have this this about knives, they are just always ready to cut! grrrr

    • It’s HARD to try “overlook” flour everywhere…:p what are you going to do with the knives thing? I would love to hear your ideas to minimise the phobia – plastic knives aside! :p


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