Junior Chefs

Find recipes and places to eat

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boy grilling some eggplant
At PlayDate.com, we realize that there’s no shortage of recipe books out there and even more online cooking sites than ever before. While we appreciate the resources and look forward to providing you with great tasting recipes, we created Junior Chefs corner to focus more on the interactions that occur when you cook together. It’s a great opportunity to talk to your kids about what’s going on in their lives.

Baked goods

A great icebreaker can be to discuss the occasion for which you are cooking. Use this time to share funny stories about family members, reminisce about past birthday parties, and talk about the meaning behind certain holidays. You’d be surprised how many people attend holiday functions just because it’s a party and have no idea of the significance behind it. While we at PlayDate.com don’t subscribe to any one religion, we see this as a great opportunity to enhance your experience and add meaning even as basic as cherishing the golden rule. Many of us are often intrigued by other cultures and religions yet don’t necessarily have a good grasp on our own heritage.

Anyone can break out with ingredients and a recipe book to make chocolate chip cookies and pop them in the oven while the kids watch television. While there may be a time and place for that, we’re talking about taking it a little further. It’s about preparing healthy meals and teaching them about having good eating habits. It’s about setting aside a certain portion of your freshly baked goods and perhaps handing them out to neighbors or those in need. It’s more memorable and adds meaning.

The best learning generally occurs from total immersion. That means if you’re trying to learn a language or any subject for that matter, it’s always best to surround yourself with people only discussing that which you are trying to learn versus just sitting in a sterile room and repeating phrases to yourself.  This helps create a learning urgency in order for you to get around and communicate. If you find yourself in a foreign country and need to use the restroom, I’m sure you’ll figure that one out pretty quickly. Your first priority was to get your needs met and the incidental learning (or secondary gain) of learning the language occurs faster and with less effort.

Cooking provides that perfect forum to achieve that secondary gain you want to impart on your children. It may sound a little sneaky but it works well for both sides. While you’re both engaged in preparing food, various secondary lessons can be taught. This may include, but not limited to, eating habits, cultural sensitivity, helping others, and etc. Please share your recipes or cooking stories with us so that we may try them at home.