“This little boy liked the hummus so much that he offered to finish off the leftovers!”
– Indigo Larson, Food Educator
by Indigo Larson, AmeriCorps Food Educator
During our cooking training a few weeks ago, I asked, “Do we give kindergarteners knives and peelers too, like the older kids?” I was nervous but quickly reassured that they can handle these tools, even at their young age.
I was going into a Kindergarten class to teach our first recipe this cooking season, Hummus in a Blanket. Just like all my other classes, we set out our green plastic serrated knives and our metal peelers on the tables thinking, “We’ll see how this goes!” Every student seemed excited and ready to meet the challenge – and were great listeners to the instructions on how to use these tools safely!
Students were peeling carrots into ribbons, measuring cumin, salt, lemon juice and curry powder, and mincing garlic. These kindergarteners confidently picked up their chef’s knife and minced and minced their garlic until it was small enough to avoid ‘spicy bites’ in their hummus. The whole class took turns so that everyone could try out their new skills. Everyone was very respectful of the knives and peelers and used them successfully.
Once the hummus was made, students rolled it and the carrot ribbons into collard green and kale blankets and all shared a bite together. The kindergarteners amazed me with their willingness to try a new food with an open mind, and even ask for seconds!
Reflecting with my other Food Educators, we were all so impressed by our youngest students’ ability and maturity when using the knives and peelers. And their excitement to eat raw leafy greens! Never again will I underestimate a kindergartener’s ability when they’re focused on learning something new. I can’t wait to cook more recipes with them this season!