My cookery teacher job – a peek behind the scenes

private cookery lessons with Kate, Make with Kate cookery teacher kate ferrer behind the scenes job teach teacher

My cookery teacher job – a day in the life

Sometimes the young people I teach, their parents/grandparents/carers comment on how they’d love to do a job like mine. 

It is the best job in the world for many reasons, not least  because it’s creative, I’m my own boss, I’m helping others to be able to do what I love doing and ultimately I’m making a difference. 

This is all the tip of the iceberg; the fun and games you see above the surface. 

If you peer behind the curtain however, there is much more going on in the background that makes all of this possible. 

My Day – It’s not all cupcakes and pasta making you know!

Take today for example. My ‘day off’ as some would call it. 

8.00 am

I dropped the kids at school, loaded up my car with every piece of electric equipment in my store room, unloaded the car and assisted Dave/Bumpa who does our PAT testing to make sure that all of my electrical equipment is safe and fit for purpose. 

10.30 am. Following this; car loaded up and unloaded again, I finalised arrangements for my primary school job on Friday. This involved printing off and sharing risk assessments, planning documents, recipe cards and designing a worksheet. 

12.00  I then took a break to walk the dog and help unload our fish tank into our new home. 

2.00 pm Next I went to the primary school for a pre-event site check, sorted out my DBS check documentation, checked for electrical points discussed timings, allergies, staff and set up. 

3.30 pm Then I collected the kids from school, made and ate dinner.

6.30 pm I’m off out again to take the eldest to Boys brigade then sat in the car and did two hours of marking for school tomorrow. A usual Monday night for us until she’s finished. Sometimes – weather permitting, I squeeze in an evening walk/jog for half an hour around Westgate whilst I wait.  

Do I begrudge any of this?

Would I change a thing? 

A BIG NO.

I love every little bit!

The sad truth is … that despite Food preparation and nutrition being a compulsory part of the KS1, 2 and 3 curriculum in the UK, children and young people still get very little access to hands on cookery and food education.

This is due to heavy pressure on time spent on other ‘more important’ parts of the core curriculum, a lack of funding – it’s not a cheap subject to teach – large class sizes and lack of equipment or facilities.

There is also a shortage of qualified food teachers for secondary schools. This is often a subject taught by non subject specialists as a timetable filler. I don’t have a problem with this if the teacher is on board, keen and enthusiastic about it. Enthusiasm and passion go a long way in getting children started on the road to food discovery and enjoyment.

I hope my ‘day off’ has not put off any budding food teachers out there. I can’t think of a more important job to do than to teach our future generations how to feed themselves and others – properly.

If you have any questions about a job as a cookery teacher in a school or how to set up as a self employed teacher etc, I am very happy to help.  

You can find out more about training to become a teacher here. Training is essential if you want to work in a school and helpful, but not essential if you are setting up as self employed.

I’ll write up some future blog posts based on answers to your questions.

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What did you do today?

Giveaway

competition win healthy children fussy eater safety knife personalised plate win winner cookery eating family food parents children kids

competition win healthy children fussy eater safety knife personalised plate win winner cookery eating family food parents children kids

It’s giveaway time!

I’ve joined up with Jane from Created4U to giveaway the following to one lucky person:

  • Child safety knife
  • Vegetable holder (to keep little hands safe)
  • A hand painted plate personalised with your child’s own drawing

Read on to find out more about these fab products and find out how to enter!

Personalised plate – featuring your child’s drawing £25

Jane from Created4u will giveaway a hand painted plate personalised with your child’s drawing. Customers have told Jane in the past that their fussy eaters have been happy to try new foods when eating from a plate they have designed themselves. Could this work for you? Either way, this giveaway will bring pleasure to any child and is a lovely way to keep your child’s art work forever.

About the plate…

Jane will copy your child’s art work onto a 21cm diameter ceramic plate. The copied drawing and writing of your child’s name will then be hand painted onto the plate using underglaze paints best matched to the colours your child uses. The plate will be dipped in a clear glaze after drying for 24 hours. After another 24 hours the plate will be ready to fired in our kiln, the firing process takes another 24 hours ( 8/9 hours to fire up to 1010 degrees Celsius & 16 hours to cool down). We only fire our kiln with a full load in it to be as economical and eco-friendly as possible with our use of electric. Therefore the finished plate it can take 7-14 days to produce for you. Will then post the plate out to you and let you know when the plate is on its way too you.

personalised plate child drawing win competition fussy eater child family food eating mealtime win winner

Using your plate … Your child will be able to eat off this plate as normal and it can be washed by hand.  If you use a dishwasher please ensure you place it in the dishwasher without any other item touching it as this can cause chipping on the rims otherwise. Please do not put the plate in a microwave oven or a very hot oven as this can cause the plate to crack and break through high thermal shock. The plates are made from earthenware clay and this does not like sudden high intense heat. The plate can be warmed in an oven if desired but please put the plate into a cold oven and allow it to warm up as the oven does to a low heat.

Safety knife £6

Did you know that children who help to prepare food are more likely to taste what they cook. The parents of children who attend my cookery classes report back that their child is much more relaxed around food. They start to taste new foods that they have previously rejected. This knife and veg holder make food preparation safe and easy for children as they learn to handle a knife properly and safely. I’ll giveaway one knife and one vegetable holder to the lucky winner from our draw.

About the knife…

This fabulous knife allows children a feeling of independence and empowerment as they build their food preparation and knife skills safely.

The knife is easy to use in much the same way you would use a sharp knife. You do not need to use a sawing motion to cut through fruit and veg. It can be used on any fruit and veg even harder ones such as onions, small potatoes and apples.

The knife is so easy and efficient to use that I use it myself for most food preparation tasks at home

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Vegetable holder £6

This looks like an extended comb. It’s a fab little tool which children find helpful to hold fruit and vegetables in place while they cut, keeping their fingers safely out of the way.

The extended prongs are inserted into the fruit or veg and the child holds the handle above to secure the fruit or veg into place and stop slipping. It allows for finer slicing, dicing and chopping as the knife can slide between the prongs. Excellent for teaching children to cut onions, apple, potatoes etc

learn safe knife skills children friendly knife kids girls boys children young cooking preparation food onion vegetables safe learn quality buy

Suitable for use by children aged 6 and upwards. (adults like using them too!)

Blunt slightly serrated stainless steel blade

Chunky blue sparkly plastic handle

Dishwasher safe

Would you like to enter to win?

Last entry for the giveaway will be on 7th February at Midnight. We will announce the lucky winner on 8th February.

All you need to to enter is click below.

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Good luck!

When your child wants to help in the kitchen…

help helping kitchen washing up children toddler preschooler cooking learn to cook mum dad family child children task age appropriate
Mummy … can I help?

Sometimes help in the kitchen from your child feels like the last thing you want or need. Pictures of the mess, and images of dinner just not getting cooked. Or perhaps dinner burning whilst you assist your young children may float through your already busy mind. Meanwhile you’re desperately searching for an excuse for your child not to ‘help’, or for something easy/ non messy / non dangerous that they could do instead.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. There are so many wonderful benefits that it’s a shame to pass up this opportunity.

 

  • Your child will gain valuable life skills
  • You’ll have a team of helpers for preparing meals
  • You’ll get to spend time together whilst getting a chore done.
My kitchen helper checklist

I’ve put together a guide to age appropriate jobs that children can help with in the kitchen without causing you too much stress or angst at a busy time of day.

It’s free, downloadable and printable – a perfect addition to your fridge door, or maybe inside the larder cupboard door. You can quickly refer to to it and assign a task. 

 

Use it like a checklist

You could also use it a bit like a checklist and cross off tasks that your child can now manage independently. The age guide is really just a suggestion as all children are completely different and will manage things at different ages, however it is helpful to give you a starting point.

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The age bit is just a guide – we can all enjoy the toddler ones!

Don’t think that just because your child is now a tweenager they won’t enjoy playing with an off-cut of pastry – they will LOVE it. I’ve listed that job under toddlers and pre-schoolers because it is something they can do unassisted, but it is also something that everyone can enjoy doing.

It’s never too early to get your child involved with cooking.

In my opinion it is an essential part in having a healthy relationship with food for life.

Feel free to enjoy using the guide however it fits your family best.

As always I’d absolutely LOVE to see and hear from you how your family is getting on. I love to receive and (with your permission) share pictures of children cooking at home.

Here’s a pic of my lovely Mary bunny ‘helping’ with the washing up quite a few years ago now. I wish she’d still want to help me like this now!

help helping kitchen washing up children toddler preschooler cooking learn to cook mum dad family child children task age appropriate

Pear crisp – autumnal baking

pear crisp crumble apple kids cook children cook cookery lesson autumn autumnal tasty delicious easy aromatic wholesome healthy spiced cinnamon oats pears apples brown sugar lemon juice

It’s that time of year when the leaves turn golden and hasn’t it happened quickly this year! I’ve started getting Hygge (Danish for cosy and snuggly for the winter months with blankets, candles, slippers and comfort food). The apples and pears are hanging off the trees and many have already fallen-  they are begging to be picked right now! I want to share my new pear crisp recipe with you.

Here’s a lovely recipe I made with my Saturday class this week and it’s too easy / good / satisfyingly “hygge” not to share with you.

It’s a warm, spiced crunchy crispy and sticky comforting dish. It can be eaten with fingers or served with ice cream, cream or custard for a dessert. The children in my class were eating it as soon as they walked out of the door. I try to get them to save the food they make so that their parents can at least see what they’ve been doing. I wonder how often the food actually makes it to their homes!

So here’s the recipe

pear crisp crumble apple kids cook children cook cookery lesson autumn autumnal tasty delicious easy aromatic wholesome healthy spiced cinnamon oats pears apples brown sugar lemon juice

 

All you need to do is complete a quick sign up form with your name and email which will allow you to automatically receive free recipes , tips, newsletters and articles in future (no need to sign up again for anything from my website.  If you just want the recipe, but not the newsletter, it’s easy to unsubscribe as soon as you’ve received the recipe.

A bit more about the recipe:

Pear crisp is a baked pear dish with a spiced oaty crumble sprinkled over the pears and then baked. It’s great as a dessert or finger food. It would be a super tasty fireside snack or even camp food. It could be made in a foil parcel – yummy!

In our lesson:
Knife skills

This was a good opportunity for us to learn about using knives safely. My classes are mixed ages and so younger children have more assistance. I only allow usage of knives with 1:1 supervision and children are taught correct knife handling techniques for cooking.  I was so proud to see the progress and confidence of some of the children who had been attending my classes for some time.

Food science

We used lemon juice on the sliced pears while we prepared our oaty topping. The children learned about the use of an acid (lemon juice) to prevent the enzymic browning that happens once fruit has been cut and exposed to the air.

Nutrition

We also discussed fibre and it’s importance in our diet along with the multitude of vitamins that we get from eating fruit.

Working as a team to clear up afterwards!

Most lessons end with a quick washing up session. Roles are divided between the children (and me) and we work as a team to get the job done. Children covet certain roles – Equipment organiser is a popular one! It’s also a great opportunity for a chat and we have fun getting the job done together. I just wish that washing up was as fun at home!

If you’d like to know more about my cookery classes, please have a look here:

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