Alves stresses the importance of learning by doing and the safe practices families can teach their kids in the kitchen. “Getting the kids involved in the kitchen, in a safe way, is not only fun, but also teaches them about everything from measuring to nutrition,” explains Alves, a native of Brazil who grew up in a family of farmers who valued healthy foods.
“Kids love to cook. It is so much fun for them. Cooking engages them and gives them the freedom to make things they love. And they get instant gratification when they eat what they make.”
She stresses the importance of creating a safe space. “Walk into the kitchen and look at what could really hurt kids,” she says. “Unplug appliances, put knives in childproof drawers, keep cleaning products stored away in a safe place and always turn handles inward on the stove in case kids run by.”
Her oldest son started his culinary adventures at a young age. Camila talks about how his love of cooking began and progressed. “Now he can use a knife under my supervision and has progressed to the stove,” Alves says. She adds that it’s important to carefully demonstrate to smaller children the heat given off from the stove.
And though raising children is often hectic, with your child’s interests at heart, you can never go wrong. “Experiences are different for every family,” she says. “But what we all have in common is we are trying to do the right thing for our families. We don’t always succeed, but we try to do our very best.”
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