Your child’s restaurant.
Friday nights in our house our kids cook. This is nothing new, in a lot of households children are part of food preparations whether it is helping baking cakes, making their sandwiches for school lunches or preparing the night’s vegetables.
On Friday nights our kids, decide on the menu, take the order, prepare the food and serve.
My boys are 5 and 7 so the menu decision at the moment is a few meals (pizza, tacos and omelets) which they can decide on ingredients and can prepare mostly themselves (with adult assistance/help where appropriate). Last Friday it was Tommy’s (aged 5) turn to run the restaurant and he decided to make Tacos and Nachos.
Your child does not need to write to prepare a menu. They can use pictures, copy words, or create drawings for their menu. Tommy wrote the words, Tommy’s menu and I wrote the ingredients and menu items he wanted to add. He added the boxes for his customers (dad, brother and I) to tick.
Taking the order
Tommy handed the menu to his customers and ‘read’ the items. Tommy can read out the words in order, by looking at the first letter in each word, connecting it with the sound it makes and linking it to the ingredient he knew was on the page. For example, he knew the letter t makes the sound /t/ and that tomatoes started with a /t/ sound. Your child could use pictures as cues for reading the menu or may be able to read the whole word.
Preparing the food
Depending on the amount of time you wish to spend on dinner preparations and your child’s confidence in the kitchen you may like to use recipes with picture cues to prepare the food or let your child prepare the food as they wish. Once again, adult supervision is needed when required.
This was my son’s favourite part. Once the food preparations are complete it was time to find the order form and prepare each customer’s dinner. The beauty of food such as tacos, pizza and omelets are there are no real right and wrong ways, you can put a lot or a little of each ingredient and in any order.
The meal was delicious, Tommy’s confidence in his ability to read and write grew and as a family we look forward to future Friday nights. Although I must admit it is a lot messier letting kids cook but to see their happy faces is worth it.
Do your children cook for you? Do they have a favourite dish?