9 – 12
My son is a very competitive child but, as most kids his age, he can also be very lazy. He won’t do something unless he has to, and he wont try something new unless he feels challenged by it. I have tried to ‘challenge’ him into doing stuff around the house like helping make breakfast or lunch and Alhamdulillah, he has a few culinary tricks up his sleeve.
A couple times I woke up thinking there was a burglar in the house, only to find him rustling in the cupboards looking for ingredients to put into his own omlette masterpieces. That is the extent of his foray into cooking though, handling scrambled eggs. Anything else seems a bit too much work for him.
That was until we watched D-Lish. We always watch shows like Chopped on the cooking channel where we watch adults compete with weird and wacky ingredients in their surprise baskets. That is pure entertainment and is hardly anything to take personally.
D-Lish one the other hand is a show that gives young people the opportunity to show off their skills in the kitchen. It’s a children’s cooking competition where judges will assess their skills based on a set of deciding factors that will ultimately help them choose the winner.
My son was skeptical at first, but as he watched the video, he got more defensive about his own cooking abilities actually. “I can do that,” he said. “That’s easy. I can be on tv too!”
“Oh really, I replied. “Show me.”
He looked at me with rolling eyeballs and dismissed my obvious challenge.
We ended up watching more and more episodes, each one with more skilfully prepared meals than the next.
The show starts with knockout rounds where the contestants will be chosen for quarterfinals, then semifinals and finally through to the grand final where one of them will be crowned as the King or Queen of D-Lish.
My son was feeling vulnerable. Here were other kids his age that knew a lot more about cooking and preparing meals than he did. There were girls and boys competing so he did not get the usual message that we are often given, that girls belong in the kitchen, not boys. He was definitely rooting for the boys though.
Cooking is a very creative process, and as he knows, in our house, mum is always experimenting with something new. Sometimes they work and sometimes they need to be left out for the birds to eat! This is a great series that encourages kids to experiment in the kitchen and try new things for themselves. They all come with their own personalised versions of recipes and add their creative flair to the meals.
It must have been very inspiring because now my child has moved on from scrambled eggs and is on a mission to make his own desserts!
“If they can do it, so can I,” he says quite matter-of-factly.
I agree. This series is a great way to motivate and inspire your children to see others experimenting with new ideas in teh kitchen and honing their skills with feedback from the judges in each episode.
Apart from learning to be creative, they also learn about failure, continuous improvement, self-confidence and perseverance. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to get their kids to try out something new
Tips for making the best of the show:
- Watch the series with your child, ask them to judge the contestants methods, recipes and overall presentation themselves – it will teach them what to pay attention to when cooking for themselves
- Help them find easy to follow recipes they can try online by themselves
- Give them room to experiment in the kitchen (with supervision of course)
- Allow them to cook for the family and try their skills out
- Let your kids or their friends have a cook-off for themselves
- Desserts are a great way to get them to add their own ideas and experiment a bit so give them a couple of recipes and ask them to personalise it with decorations and flavours they love