At Arctic Gardens, we wanted to provide our community with a new and concrete experience related to our daily mission: to help Canadians cook vegetables. So that’s why we created Arctic Gardens cooking workshops with our partner La Tablée des Chefs. Last year, four cooking workshops were provided to our community. Contest winners had the chance to take part in thematic workshops preparing recipes under the guidance of an experienced chef. These workshops are the perfect opportunity to share your passion for cooking and meet new people in a warm environment.
On March 23rd, the last workshop of the season with the theme of parent-child cooking was held. Fun and laughter was on the menu!
A look back at the event
Despite the snow Saturday morning, little chefs and their parents were there ready to get their hands dirty. We first welcomed our guests with Arctic Gardens banana vegetable bread appetizers which was greatly appreciated by the kids and grown-ups alike. The kids were then invited to participate in a fun activity to test their veggie knowledge. While some were really excited when they arrived, others were a bit shy, but the shyness quickly turned into excitement as soon as the workshop began.
We often think that cooking with kids means mess and chaos, but during our workshop, the future little chefs showed us quite the opposite. In fact, they were all very attentive, focused and fascinated by the steps they’d have to perform. It was with the guidance and demonstrations of the experienced chef from La Tablée des Chefs that the kids and their parents made three recipes. In particular, the chef taught the kids to use a knife safely, hold it properly, to cut with precision and things like that.
At the end of the workshop, participants could bring what they’d made back home to enjoy. As well, a portion of the recipes made went directly to an organization that helps families in need.
So we close this season of Arctic Gardens workshops on an excellent note, sharing great parent-child moments that gave them lots of ideas and new learning!
“The recipes were delicious and my son was really proud of himself! I thought, before trying what he’d made, that you used frozen vegetables only if you had nothing else around. These recipes really changed the way I look at a product.” – Jenny
The truth comes out of the mouths of children
Since kids are known to say some pretty funny things sometimes, we asked them a few questions while they were in the heat of the moment. Here are just some of the answers that made us laugh:
Do you have a favourite veggie?
“Yes, carrots, I’m a little bunny rabbit!” – Anaelle, 8-years old
Does your mommy have little tricks to get you to eat more veggies?
“No! Oh yes, she puts them in salads so we eat them.” – Olivier, 8-years old
Do you like cauliflower?
“Yes, but the first time I ate it, I threw up because it was the first time I ate it. But now I like it”. – Laurent, 7-years old
A closer look at the recipes and products used
For the parent-child cooking workshop, we carefully chose recipes that would appeal to the kids and grown-ups alike. They were also perfect for the kids to discover veggies in all their shapes and sizes.
Thanks to the soft texture and delicious taste of these muffins, your kids will never know that they have cauliflower in them! Camouflaged by the taste of coconut and dates that make an excellent duo as a natural sweetener, the cauliflower goes unnoticed while adding a serving of veggies to the muffins. Ask your kids to help you cook – they’ll love it!
Your kids don’t like broccoli? That’s because they haven’t tried these vegetarian croquettes that can be ready in no time. Easy to make, they’re perfect for initiating your kids to cooking while letting them discover the versatility of this green veggie. You’ll see, your little ones will even give them their own flair!
When you ask kids what their favourite meal is, they’ll often answer pizza. For the parent-child cooking workshop, what better than a station where everyone adds what they want on their pizza! Peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach, red or Southwestern pepper dip – nothing is off limits! This is a fun activity that will get kids to actively participate in cooking and create colourful images that reflect who they are.
New Arctic Gardens dips?
You read right! After the success of our spinach dip, we’re launching two new Arctic Gardens dips: a red pepper dip with vegetables, chick peas and white beans and a Southwestern-style dip with corn, three beans and tomatoes. Our guests actually tasted and cooked with them at the workshop.
Like the first one, these new dips are portionable, easy to prepare and versatile, as well as being healthy snacks. They can also be used as a pizza base or pasta sauce and even as a spread for sandwiches and much more!
These new dips will be available at all Provigo and Metro grocery stores starting April and at all IGAs as of May.
Parents play a crucial role in their kids’ learning, even in food and cooking. At Arctic Gardens, we believe that asking your kids to participate in cooking will not only teach them the basics of meal preparation, but also how to be resourceful, and it will certainly inspire them to discover new foods and recipes.
For more information, here are a few articles that can help you practice this wonderful family activity with your little ones:
- 10 activities that make food fun for kids
- 10 tips for cooking with kids
- Kids vs veggies: 2,000 parents test the best tips
If you’d like to participate in other parent-child cooking workshops in the Montreal area, the Louis Bonduelle Foundation offers similar workshops called “C’est moi le chef!” (meaning I’m the chef! in English). These workshops are organized one Sunday per month and are for kids between 6- and 15-years old accompanied by a parent.
But don’t worry because Arctic Gardens’ cooking workshops will be back in full force next season! We look forward to seeing you at new events.