Almost a month ago, Mark Bittman wrote a piece in The New York Times about ChopCop cooking magazine founded by Sally Sampson. It’s targeted at young cooks and their parents, but, according to Bittman, they’re not “dumbed down” and credits Sampson for believing that there isn’t “kid food versus adult food.” He agrees that developing a lifetime of cooking starts with learning the basics of cooking – he writes, “by understanding building blocks of various dishes, you can become familiar with techniques and principles without even being conscious of it.” I concur.

Teaching kids to cook was one of the things that was important to me when I ran Thrive Lifestyles, and I knew that teaching children how to cook was one way to teach families to start making healthier food purchases. Children significantly influence their family’s grocery purchases, according to a summary report in the Science Daily.

That’s an idea that the Flagship Foundation also knows to be true. Beecher’s Handmade Cheese’s nonprofit organization seeks to teach children about smart, healthy eating, and this is done by teaching classes through the Pure Foods Kids Workshop. All of the new employees of Sugar Mountain – and by extension Beecher’s Cheese – experienced an abbreviated version of the Pure Foods Kids class during our Beecher’s 101 class. It was very educational and entertaining – and that’s from a nutritionist!

Teaching kids to cook can start as simply as letting them observe you when you cook and can expand into taking cooking classes together. And if your “young cook” is actually an adult, then consider picking up some straightforward cookbooks that offer basic cooking, such as The Whole Foods Cookbook, the Day by Day Gourmet Cookbook, or even Kurt Dammeier’s own Pure Food.

In full disclosure, I work as the product development chef for Sugar Mountain, and I write about what we do because I am still impressed by the company’s commitment to pure food and pure quality product.