As you will be aware I have been on a little quest in our home to help encourage my children to learn to cook with our Cooking with the Kids recipe series.
Uncle Ben’s has teamed up with well-known, Irish chef, Neven Maguire, to launch Ben’s Beginners, a programme which seeks to encourage Irish mums and dads to get cooking with their children, and nurture a lifelong love for wholesome food. The concept is that when parents and children move from setting the table to cooking together, it leads to a better relationship with food, with healthy meal preparation and with each other.
The programme begins with a cooking contest to inspire families to create a child-friendly rice recipe and upload it to the Uncle Ben’s Ireland Facebook page to share their passion for healthy eating. All those who enter are in with the opportunity to win €5,000 cash prize for them and their family plus a €10,000 donation for their school to fund a healthy initiative.
Research undertaken as part of the programme reveals that Irish parents agree that it is important children have a basic knowledge of cooking skills:
- Four in five surveyed believe that being able to cook sets their child up for life however in practice only 14% of children prepare evening meals, daily, with their parents.
- A larger number (4 in 10) do so weekly, but a quarter of all children never or rarely help prepare meals at home.
- Only 37% of parents strongly agreed they were actively passing on solid and strong cooking skills to their children.
- Of those surveyed, 50% admitted that they learnt to cook when they left home with only 29% indicating they learnt from their parents.
- A large proportion of children are involved in tasks such as setting the table (70%) or simple cooking skills such as making toast (70%) but 69% of children cannot boil an egg.
- Parents cite the key barriers to getting their children more involved in the kitchen as time pressure (64%); preference to do it themselves (29%); perceived lack of children’s interest in cooking (20%); know-how and inspiration to involve them (19%), however, given the chance 79% of children would like to cook more with their parents.
Ben’s Beginners is a global Mars initiative which has run successfully in the US and Canada over the past two years. Ireland will be the first European country to launch it.
The Irish research was conducted by Ignite Research on behalf of Uncle Ben’s, Mars Ireland. Total sample size was 292 parents of children between the ages of 5-12 in September 2013.
Thanks to Edelman Ireland for the information about this campaign.
If you are looking for ideas of recipes to cook with your kids, make sure you try our tried and tested recipes that my daughters have been making over the last few months and follow my recipe board on Pinterest where you will find all my Cooking with the Kids recipes.