Source: Body and Soul section of The Advertiser newspaper, 21 Jan 2018
Enlarged article:

My editor just sent me this article to highlight and enforce the messages I am sharing through the Tok Panjang blogs – Kids in the kitchen!

I have written many articles about involving children in the kitchen, and holiday time is an excellent time to involve them in the kitchen as well as having fun with them.

During the long holidays (or even on the weekend), you may be wondering how to “entertain” your children. You may be thinking about enrolling your children in summer holiday activities, or send them to a swim school or a holiday camp.

But before you enroll,  I want to share with you why you may want to rethink about sending your children to school holiday activities (unless you are working). I want you to re-consider sending your children out of the house, but instead invite them to your kitchen!

… and here are 3 fantastic reasons why:

  1. Your kitchen is a place to connect and bond.

If you are ever wondering why you are having such a hard time communicating with your children, this may be your antidote.

You see, we are all working parents. We have our daily commitments through work and housework, as well as with the extended family. By the end of the day, we are just tired, let alone communicating and sharing with our children, right?

I get you.

When you are having difficulty communicating with your children, or unable to get your message through to them, this is an indication that you need to look into the connections you have with your children.

It is said that food is the best medium to breakthroughing barriers; food is prepared and cooked with love… so how about involving your children in the kitchen… Just give it a go and see what happens.

  1. Bridge cultural and generational gaps

How many times have you cooked your favourite childhood dishes and shared them with your family? When you cook, do you share your personal stories that go with this particular dish?

Stories such as: who taught you how to cook this dish, why you like this dish, what is the memory/momories associated with this dish,  and why do you use these ingredients instead of others, or when do you cook this dish, is there any special significant associated with this particular dish?

Share these stories with them.

These little highlights of your past will open up your world to your children. It gives them a little understanding about your history, your journey, your traditions and your culture – thus this bridges the cultural gaps between yourself and your children – which leads to better communication.


  1. You will be amazed about what children can learn from the kitchen.

There are so many things children can learn from cooking and being involved in the kitchen. If you have been following Masterchef Australia, you would be exposed to so many new things every episode, i.e.

  • Ingredients – white / red meat, protein, diary, poultry, seafood, vegetables, fruits etc
  • Different types of dishes – hot and spicy dishes, soup, roast meat, curry dishes etc
  • Cooking techniques – roast, pan fry, deep fry, steam, oven baked etc
  • Kitchen appliances and how to use them
  • New vocabularies and names of different dishes, learning to read recipes
  • Learn about maths – learning measurements from recipes and actually measuring them.

There are so many things children can learn from cooking and spending time in the kitchen with you – seriously.

Refer to this blog post I wrote few years ago – What children can learn from cooking.

So if you are a parent or grandparent, before you place your finger on the phone/internet to search for any school holiday activities, let go back to basics – let’s head to the KITCHEN instead and start connecting!

The kitchen is the heart of your home and where all connections and bonding happen. Do you agree?

Let’s have fun in the kitchen!

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