As parents, it’s our job to encourage our children to find something that they’re passionate about and help them to realise their true potential and passions. If your child is a flair for flavours and loves getting creative in the kitchen, it’s possible that a career in the culinary arts might be their true calling.
There are lots of reasons why children should consider pursuing a culinary career, but here are just a few:
- Pursuing a successful career in the food industry guarantees your child a job that they will have stability within. A culinary career is a job with a future, and the more passion your child puts into chasing their dreams, the more prosperous their career could be.
- The food industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, and it’s going to continue to grow, creating more opportunities for kids with culinary career dreams.
- The hospitality industry has experienced a financial hit due to COVID-19 laws and lockdowns. Now that establishments are opening up again, it’s the perfect time to get stuck into a new job and learn the ropes.
How to help your children learn the skills needed in order to pursue a culinary career.
1 Encourage your children to cook with you as soon as you notice their interest in food.
Cooking with your kids has so many amazing developmental benefits, so even if your child doesn’t end up pursuing a culinary career, they’ll still benefit greatly from this activity. Cooking with your children from a young age aids their gross and fine motor skills, setting them up for school and other activities as they age. Letting your toddler explore food with their senses is a fun sensory experience for them, and using child-friendly utensils, such as whisking batter and using measuring cups, is a fun way to help their tiny muscles strengthen.
For older children, allow them to help out in the kitchen preparing meals. Teaching children how to use knives safely, carve roast dinners, serve up food, and prepare more complex dishes are all tasks that children interested in the culinary arts will be more than capable of, but are unlikely to be taught at schools. When teaching knife skills to children, remember that a good quality knife will make a huge difference; we like using a swiss made knife as they’re comfortable to hold, sharp, and robust.
Encouraging them to explore flavours and textures without taking over their preparation process helps children to learn what works and doesn’t work. Some children may have a natural sense of knowing which flavour combinations work and which don’t and others may be more experimental. Whatever the case, make sure to let your child explore these independently so they can learn within their own time frame and gain confidence in the kitchen.
2. Playing educational culinary arts related games can teach children more about where their food comes from and the level of dedication needed to excel in the food industry.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a food obsessed school aged child or a teenager actively interested in pursuing a culinary career, whatever age your children are, there’s no better way to entertain and inform than by playing games! For kids interested in the food and cooking industries, CulinarySchools.org has a huge array of ad-free games that aim to educate and demonstrate the type of hard work, dedication, and fun that comes with a career in the food industry.
Playing games that familiarise children with the food industry processes, for example, farming, running a restaurant, cooking, and the culinary arts, can help prepare your children for the realities of a career in the food industry.
My own children, aged 8 and 3, both enjoy playing quite a few of the Culinary Schools’ Food Education games. My youngest particularly loved the thrill of playing Can I Eat It? – a game that requires the player to answer yes or no to a series of items, choosing if they’re edible or not. There are quite a few Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network inspired games such as We Bare Bears Chocolate Artist and SpongeBob SquarePants Krabby Patty Crisis which my 8 year old really enjoyed playing. My personal favourite games to play that relate to the food industry are farming games, designed to help educate children about the farming industry and teach them more about where our food comes from.
3 Share your favourite dishes with your children and pass down your favourite family recipes.
Passing down my favourite family recipes is something that my husband and I can’t wait to do. We’ve been collecting all our favourite dishes, along with modified recipes and dishes that we’ve created ourselves, and we’re waiting for the day that we can pass these along to our children.
For children wanting to pursue a career in the culinary arts, however, it could be a good idea to share this knowledge with them early on. Teaching your children how to make your favourite dishes, explaining why the modifications you’ve made to recipes are important, and how to prepare and present them in a way that looks beautiful when served up, are all going to give your children the upper hand when it comes to pursuing their career in the food industry. Don’t forget to also teach your children all those little kitchen life hacks that make things easier!
Encouraging creativity and teaching children about dedication and commitment will also help any child who’s seeking a career in the food industry.
A career in the culinary arts is a dream for many people. It is a career that involves creativity, improvisation, dedication, and commitment. There are many areas of the food industry that your children can strive to work towards, for example working in restaurants, catering companies, food trucks, bakeries, cooking schools, hotels, cruise ships, and much more. Helping your children to explore their culinary interests early on will help them to choose the path that’s right for them, as well as provide them with a strong foundation from which to start their careers.