Little Chefs

Here’s the munchkin himself, taking part in a workshop at school put on by Les Ateliers Cinq Epices (site in French only). This is a Montreal non-profit organization whose goal is to promote healthy eating habits in children (and their parents). A series of workshops is conducted in primary and pre-schools, each highlighting a different theme. The workshop I took part in was on Mexico. The students had made cut-out marionettes of children in traditional Mexican dress in class, then headed to the kitchen to prepare a Mexican-inspired meal: black bean chili. The children were involved in chopping vegetables (ok, with a butter knife), measuring spices and canned goods and cleaning up. While the chili cooked they watched a video showing Mexican children shopping at markets with their parents, helping to prepare meals, and the final cooked products. Unfortunately, this year they have seen their funding reduced and are only preparing 2 workshops per class instead of the 8 they did last year.

My hat goes off to Les Cinq Épices (meaning “the five spices”) for their role in getting my son excited about healthy eating (he always asks whether what he is eating (or wants to eat) is healthy) and is eager to help out (ok, insists on helping out) and is so proud of his achievements in the kitchen.. my budding chef!

The recipes prepared by Les Cinq Épices are developed by nutritionists and must meet the criteria of being nutritious, delicious, vegetarian, easy to prepare, appreciated by children and using easily accessed ingredients (in season, local and low cost). The black bean chili recipe had a per-serving cost of $1.31!

Here’s an example of his kitchen assistance from yesterday… mm.. CUPCAKES! Ok.. so maybe not so much following the healthy eating lessons learned above… OOOPS!

This was the Basic Chocolate Cupcakes with Fluffy Buttercream Frosting (and added red die) from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. He helped with the frosting (and the licking of said frosting from bowl and mixer beaters) and did all the decorating 😉

I wanted to go for more of a Valentines theme being the season and all… but these are looking decidedly Christmas-y 🙂

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