Forget showbags and fairy floss. At this year’s Newcastle Regional Show the cool kids will be heading to the Exhibition Centre, putting on an apron and learning how to cook a healthy meal.
Get Kids Cooking is all about equipping primary school students with the cooking skills and healthy food knowledge to make nutritious food choices as they progress to adulthood. And at the show, Get Kids Cooking is partnering with Australian Good Meat to do just that.
Seven free cooking workshops for children aged five to 12 will be held daily over the three days of the show (March 1 to 3). There, they will be making delicious Australian beef kebabs loaded with vegetables and with a Moroccan cous cous on the side.
“They learn to chop, peel, mix and make,” Get Kids Cooking food educator Holly Boal told Food & Wine. “All our classes are hands-on, fun, educational and delicious.”
Most children, you see, are interested in cooking. Eager to learn and to help mum and dad, they also get their hands dirty and devour their creation at the end. What’s not to like?
“Many parents often don’t know where to start when it comes to what kids can do safely to help in the kitchen,” Boal said.
“We show the kids and the parents that simple things like mixing and measuring are great ways kids can lend a hand. We have special safety knives and peelers that the kids use in our class, so they can chop and peel with confidence and not hurt themselves. Obviously when it comes time to cook using an oven or hotplate adult assistance is required, and this is where we step in.”
There are, she said, lifelong benefits to learning about cooking and healthy food at an early age.
“Teaching kids how to cook and learn basic skills broadens their palette. When children have had involvement in the making of meals themselves they are more likely to try it. It can also help them to make better food choices for life,” Boal explained.
“Each child that attends a class at the show will get to eat what they cook, and take home a recipe to make at home with their families.”
Joanne Bowskill started Get Kids Cooking in 2013. Since then, more than 100,000 children have participated Australia wide. Get Kids Cooking also pioneered the idea of The Kitchen Kart.
“We went on season two of Shark Tank with our prototype of The Kitchen Kart, which is a unique portable teaching kitchen for schools,” Boal said. “We now sell and manufacture these for schools all over Australia after hooking ‘shark’ Dr Glen Richards.”