At Blue Apron, we’re huge advocates of getting kids into the kitchen. Whether it’s a toddler tearing up lettuce or a tween zesting a lemon, kids of all ages reap major benefits from joining in on dinner prep (and so do you…what better way to bond?).
Cooking with your kids not only teaches them practical life skills, it builds confidence, fosters family togetherness, cultivates an appreciation for real ingredients and encourages them to try new foods. Trust us, the kid who helps wash and prep the watermelon radish is far more likely to try it!
Research shows that the family who cooks together really does eat together—and making family mealtime a priority has many long-term benefits. Dinner conversation boosts the vocabulary of younger children even more than having stories read aloud. Older kids who eat dinner with their parents five or more days a week have less trouble with drugs and alcohol, eat healthier, earn better grades and report being closer with their parents. Students who don’t regularly eat with their parents are significantly more likely to be truant at school (and more likely to grab a bite at unhealthy fast food and takeout places).
That’s why we specifically created our Family Plan to accommodate bringing kids into the mix. Recipes like Panko Crusted Chicken and Catfish Piccata make it easy for kids to roll up their sleeves and pitch in (and only take about 35-40 minutes to prepare). Here are a few of our favorite little home chefs in action:
In the spirit of getting more kids cooking at home, we recently learned about a great organization, the Charlie Cart Project, which aims to get kids cooking in the classroom, too. The Charlie Cart Project provides a unique and scalable educational program that enables hands-on food education in any setting. An innovative program that promotes culinary education in K-6 schools, a Charlie Cart is a fully-equipped compact, mobile kitchen cart on wheels with utensils, cooking equipment, lesson plans and training.
The organization launched in January 2016 in 12 locations across the country, including California, Georgia, Mississippi, Washington DC and Wyoming. They plan to launch 25 more carts across the country this fall with 15 already allocated to sites in Alabama, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Tennessee, Vermont and West Virginia.
We’re proud to be supporting the Charlie Cart Project by making a donation. Please join us by making a contribution to help sponsor more carts. Your contribution will help enable the Charlie Cart Project to expand its reach, and continue building the tools and resources to make food education accessible for all children.