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Parenting & Education in Ireland

Kids cooking skills - only three in ten children can boil an egg !


Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 14/10/2013. Tags: Parenting

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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.  Ben’s Beginners believes 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 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. 
 
In addition, when it comes to the development of family cooking skills, the Ben’s Beginners research revealed:
 
* 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.  When children were asked the same question, their responses mirrored that of their parents
 
* 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 offers parents and children 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.  To be in with a chance to win, entrants must upload a photo or short video to the Ben’s Beginners Facebook app at Faceboook.com/unclebensireland which showcases their signature rice dish recipe. The public will be asked to vote for their favourite entry which will deliver a shortlist of four finalists. Neven Maguire will then choose the overall winner based on the meals created by the four finalists.


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