When learning something new, start with easy tasks that end with success. This encourages continued interaction. When learning to cook, start with simple recipes. This badge will cover how to introduce others to cooking to start the progression.
1. Recipe cards.
Explain what a recipe card is. Hand one out to the kids to review together. Review what is on the card and make sure they understand what everything means, including abbreviations. Discuss what might happen if directions weren’t followed. Hand out blank recipe cards and ask that each child find a recipe to share.
2. Grocery trip.
Before you’re ready to cook, you need to make sure you have all your ingredients. With a recipe in hand, review what you have available to use and what you need to purchase at the grocery store. Take a trip to the store to complete your ingredients. If you cannot go to the store, set up a pretend store and let the kids find their ingredients.
Discuss how to check the dates on perishable items. How can you tell if a fruit or vegetable is good? How can you tell if meat is good? How long can you leave something in the refrigerator before using it?
4. Nutrition labels.
Review the information on the label of a pre-packaged ingredient. Discuss what the information means and why it matters.
5. Name or generic brands.
Try a blind taste test to compare a variety of name brand and generic products. Let everyone vote and track the answers.
Allergies, food dislikes and more cause people to adjust recipes. Ask each kid if they are allergic to any food items. Then, ask what food each doesn’t like to eat. Discuss what items can be used as substitutes. Keep a list for future reference.
Grab a simple recipe and try it. If there are kitchen skills involved, review the Enrichment Project badge program “Kitchen Skills.” Make sure you test it before doing it as a group if you don’t make it frequently so you know what it looks like at every stage. Make notes on how to break up the steps to make it easier to share.
8. Herbs and spices.
Don’t forget the spices. Try to use a spice you’ve never used before to add flavor to your new dish. Be creative.
NOTE: Check out the Enrichment Project badge program “Herbs and Spices” to explore this more.
9. Special diets.
Some people have to deal with allergies. Others choose a diet that they are more comfortable with such as vegetarian or gluten-free. Discuss these types of diets and try a dish or two that someone with a special diet might make.
10. Ethnic dishes.
Find a grocery that specializes in ingredients from that country and use those rather than substituting. You might also choose to find an ethnic recipe online or at your local library. Try a dish from another country for World Thinking Day or just for fun
Discuss the proper way to clean up to make sure everything is sterilized. Make sure all leftovers are properly stored.
- Avery 2.5” round label printable, 12 up
- Badge checklist
Sites to Explore
Get the infographic here > larajla blog post
Get the PDFs of the badge program / supplements here > Full badge PDFs