Here are some facts for you:
- The UK and the US enjoy a high position in all rankings of wealth per capita, by country.
- The US and the UK are also guilty of having among the highest rates of child obesity in the world.
- We have access to more information and support about how to live healthily than ever.
- According to Nielsen, while the general global book market fell by 4.5% in 2010, the sales of cookbooks were up by 4%.
It’s fashionable, we talk about it, we blog about it but do we cook? Not many do.
Cooking and an interest in producing food, naturally breeds an interest in ingredients and awareness of what we are consuming, but children rarely know how food comes to be on their plate. It’s something that, in today’s world is rarely passed down from grandmother to mother to child. We can blame changes in the way we think of ‘family’, lack of time, lack of resources, but ultimately it comes down to lack of willing. Even at times of great hardship, people have created dishes, made the best they can and shared these- in fact so many dishes we know and love today have been born of desperation and perspiration.
Encouraging children to be more aware of food, to be involved in the process, from getting the ingredients, whether that be picking or buying it right through to cooking and serving it is the only way to stop the downward spiral into ill health and obesity, and to bridge the gap of understanding that exists between the eater and the food.
Who better than El Bulli (rated the best restaurant in the world) owner, Ferran Adria, to stoke the fire that Jamie Oliver et al have been championing for the last few years. Adria has added a weighty foreword to new publication Kids Cook the World.
Not only does this book bring together the adult and child, cooking together from scratch, getting to know each dish and where it comes from, but it serves a higher purpose of taking the child out of their location and out of their culture. Food has long been a levelling force, one that can be shared and enjoyed across cultures, breaking down barriers and allowing understanding, insight and appreciation of those different to themselves.
Sean Mendez wrote this book, in conjunction with his work at Solidarity Sports a charity working with children who perhaps don’t have the benefit of time with their families, resources or facilities to allow them to benefit from all that healthy living and eating promises.
In our melting pot culture, Kids Cook the World, is a fun, easy and essential read for children. It is a text for reference, understanding and positive activity that will take root, stay and grow with your child.
Next Stop: I’ll be showing you some of the book and I’m going to try and get the author to give me some insight into his success with the local communities in London and where he hopes to take the book next. In the meantime bloggers, if you have children who would like to showcase their efforts, give these recipes a go and would be happy to share the tasty results, please let me know!