Cooking: A Fun Way to Teach Foster Children Invaluable Life Lessons


As a foster carer, you may be looking for fun activities to enjoy with your foster children. There are loads of them out there but imagine how much fun you can have in the kitchen! In addition to whipping up some delicious treats with the children, you might be able to impart some of life’s most invaluable lessons. That said, let’s look at all the good things our kitchens have to teach us!

It’s Fun to Eat the Fruit of Our Labours

One of the things you’ve learned when going through the process for fostering in Northern Ireland, for example, is that it benefits the children to keep things light and entertaining if at all possible. This is especially important during the transition time when they first enter your household. What better way is there to keep things fun than to get busy in the kitchen with them, making some tasty yet easy treats they can learn to make as well!

A good one here is what the rest of the world calls “Traditional Irish Soda Bread” because it’s fast and easy with a base of only four ingredients, none of which is yeast! They can help you add bits of dried fruit, nuts, or even chocolate pieces if so desired and the best part of all, there is no prolonged wait whilst it rises. There’s no yeast! The leavening agent is baking soda, so they can have fun eating the “literal” fruits of their labour very shortly! (What child doesn’t hate waiting?).

Always Be Mindful of Sharp Objects

Another lesson in life is the importance of paying attention to sharp objects. All children like to run around the house, occasionally bumping into sharp corners as they go. More than a few bandages are used each week if they aren’t trained early on the fact that sharp objects like corners of furniture and cooking utensils can hurt. It always pays to start teaching foster children, any children for that matter, how to handle sharp objects safely with the blade or pointed end away from you.

Beware of Starting a Fire

If you are like most of us, there has been a time or two when we weren’t mindful of the hot pad whilst reaching in the oven for the leg of lamb we had roasting. Inadvertently the fabric touched the element and caught fire. Can you say that hasn’t happened to you? If so, you are either the luckiest cook in the world or the most cautious! Teaching our foster children how to avoid starting fires truly is an invaluable safety lesson to be learnt early on.

Clean-up Is a Necessary “Evil”

Finally, this is the thing most children struggle with. They surely don’t mind making a mess, but clean-up time can be a real drag. However, if they are going to sit at table eating that lovely soda bread you’ve just made together, you have to clear a spot for it, don’t you? You wouldn’t want raw batter or flour interfering with that delicious warm bread just out of the oven and smoothed over with their favourite preserves! All in all, there’s much to learn in the kitchen, so what a great place to start with those new arrivals as you begin your journey in being a foster carer. It’s more fun than you can imagine!

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