When my family started our real food journey many years ago, there were just a handful of helpful Christ-centered real food blogs out there. One of these pioneers was, and still is, Wardeh Harmon at GNOWFGLINS (which stands for: God’s Natural, Organic, Whole Foods, Grown Locally, In Season).
Wardeh’s passion for helping families to embrace a real food lifestyle while bringing glory to God is such a blessing! That’s why I’m thrilled to have her as a guest. One of her most recent accomplishments is co-authoring an incredibly helpful eBook for families called Real Food Kids in the Kitchen. This step-by-step resource helps parents to teach kids-of-all-ages basic cooking skills through a series of simple and fun lessons, while also inspiring the entire family to gain a deeper knowledge of and appreciation for Real Food.
So without further ado … I’ve got a whole slew of questions for Wardeh regarding how we can build fun memories together in the kitchen as we get our kiddos even more fired up about eating and preparing wholesome real food meals!
Q: Wardeh, you’ve put together an amazingly thorough resource for families – tell us why you and your co-authors decided to create this eBook?
Wardeh answers: This eBook was actually an idea from Jami Delgado, my co-teacher and founder of the free real food recipe sharing site Eat Nourishing. She came to me with the idea of creating an online class teaching kids to cook real food. I loved the idea so much that we did it! The class is called Real Food Kids and all the print materials for the class ended up coming together as a stand-alone eBook.
The core philosophy behind Real Food Kids is “everyone eats, everyone cooks!” — a phrase coined by Jami. Everyone needs to eat to sustain life, and we believe that everyone ought to be taught to cook with real foods for good health. The best time to instill careful habits around kitchen work and healthful eating is when our children are young.
Q: How can teaching kids to cook help them to eat a wider variety of healthy foods?
It’s no secret (for adults too) that if someone has a hand in creating something, they’re much more invested in it and more likely to enjoy it.
Of course, it isn’t a sure-fire thing, but it is more likely. So getting our children involved in the preparation of real foods seems like a no-brainer.
Q: How has putting together this extensive eBook, helped you personally when it comes to your time in the kitchen with your family?
I didn’t actually cook with real foods when my children were little, little. I loved working with Jami (whose children are under the age of 8) to see what she was doing. I kind of wish I could get a “do-over” and go back to when my kids were younger and do some things differently with my kids! In any case, I’ve found plenty of inspiration to work more with my children now. I hope that encourages others like me, who brought real foods into our families later in the game. Though it is ideal to start young, it is never too late!
Q: Share with us your thoughts on how cooking together can help to build healthy eating habits and healthy families.
In our society, most people don’t know how to cook, because they don’t have to cook. Convenience foods are so prevalent, and people are often tired and unwell because of unhealthy living (a vicious cycle!), that going through the dive-thru or relying on processed foods becomes the norm.
Home Economics is often not taught anymore (which might not be a bad thing, given modern nutritional wisdom). Case in point: when I took Home Ec in junior high more than twenty years ago, one of the skills I learned was to microwave a potato and then melt some cheese on top. (However, to my teacher’s credit, I learned a ton about sewing!)
So, the trade-off on all this “convenience” is that the health and well-being of the whole family suffers, often getting worse with each generation. We can break this cycle if we would all get in the kitchen and cook together with real foods. Not just Mom, but the children, too (and even Dad if he can). If kids cook alongside, not only is this quality time, but the children get so used to kitchen work that it just might not be laborious or tedious for them ever after — because they will continue doing what they grew up doing. It’s like tying your shoe or riding a bike; you never forget!
My heartfelt thanks to Wardeh for being so generous in sharing her time and wisdom with us! And to you dear readers, I have another special treat in store for you … Wardeh has allowed the boys and I to share one of our favorite recipes from her new eBook. So … be sure to check out me and my boys making Wardeh’s Easy Nut Butter Cookies – YUM!
I also highly encourage you to pop over to check out Wardeh’s Real Food Kids in the Kitchen eBook. Personally, I consider this book to be a foundational resource for families who want to experience the joy and nourishment that comes from learning to work together as a team in the kitchen!
Joyfully Serving Him, Kelly
Disclosure: I make a small commission if you opt to purchase Wardeh’s eBook using the links above. All commissions help to support the many free resources available here at The Nourishing Home!