I’ve been saying that I want to get my girls more involved in cooking for a while now, but I haven’t made a very good effort. It’s partly because I’m often in a hurry to get dinner on the table, and partly due to good old “mom fear” about letting them use knives or get too close to a hot oven or stove. Up until now, their contributions have mostly consisted of measuring and dumping, or making super easy things like peanut butter & jelly sandwiches or instant oatmeal.
After watching “MasterChef, Jr.,” however, and seeing kids as young as eight years old dicing and slicing and searing and sauteeing, I realized that I am selling my girls (who are seven and nine years old) really short when it comes to their cooking capabilities.
A few weeks ago, I saw a segment on “Today” about a subscription service called Raddish (Get it? Rad-Dish?) which is aimed toward getting kids excited about cooking and teaching them cooking skills. I loved what I saw on the show, and I immediately went online to learn more and to request a trial kit in exchange for a review. (I have never approached a company before to do a review, but I just had a feeling I would love this service and want to share it with you all.)
They kindly offered to send me a kit, and when it arrived on our doorstep last week, my girls couldn’t wait to tear it open. As soon as they saw what was inside the box, they were begging me to go to the grocery store so they could get started on their first recipe. You guys, my girls usually HATE going to the grocery store, so this was already a huge step in the right direction.
Raddish works like this: You receive a box in the mail every month containing three recipes, a shopping list, durable fold-out recipe cards with step-by-step illustrated instructions, a culinary skills card (ours was about using a spatula), table talk conversation starters, and a little bonus activity (ours was about making barista-style milk steamers).
The kit we received came with recipes for Minestrone Soup, Gourmet Grilled Ham & Cheese Sandwiches, and Jumbo Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. We decided to start with the soup, so we grabbed the shopping list and headed to the store.
While I expected that we’d have fun in the kitchen, I was surprised by how much fun my girls had IN the grocery store (the one they usually hate). They loved having their own shopping list to check off, figuring out which aisles to go to, and hunting for the right items. It also served as a bonus math lesson as we calculated ounces and cups to make sure we had enough of each ingredient.
Back in the kitchen, the girls immediately donned their chef outfits and got to work. (The aprons and hats in the photos are our own, but you can order an apron from Raddish, and each new kit comes with a cute iron-on badge to put on it.)
I helped a little bit with some of the chopping (garlic and onions), but otherwise, the kids made the entire soup themselves. They were SO proud to serve their soup for dinner, and it was really delicious. The best part was that they thought it was delicious, even though they were initially hesitant about some of the ingredients (especially the zucchini). I’d read research that kids are more likely to try new foods when they’ve helped prepare it themselves, and it really is true. My girls even ate second helpings, zucchini and all!
We made the oatmeal cookies the following day, and they were amazing, but I didn’t get a photo of those because we scarfed them down too quickly. Oops!
My favorite things about Raddish:
It’s focused on real food.
A lot of kid-oriented cookbooks or magazines feature recipes for things like pigs in a blanket or finger jellow. I love that the Raddish kits include high quality recipes that are simple enough for kids to prepare, but aren’t what you’d typically think of as “kid food.”
It’s suitable for a wide range of ages.
On the Raddish site, they recommend this kit for kids ages 4 through 12. Obviously a four-year old will not be able to do some of the more technical things independently, but he/she can use the illustrated cards to follow along with what mom or dad are doing in the kitchen. Older kids can take on more and more responsibility. And it’s even a great tool for adults who aren’t confident in their cooking skills and want to brush up on some basic techniques and terminology.
It makes a great gift!
This is one of those gifts that the parents would love as much as the kids. You can order a gift subscription OR a single kit as a gift. The recipe cards, shopping list, and other materials are really high quality, so they can be used again and again.
It’s as fun as it is educational.
My girls loved our trial kit so much that I signed up for a monthly subscription. If you’d like to try out Raddish for yourself, you can sign up on their website. And if you enter the code SIMPLE25 when you check out, you’ll receive a 25% discount on your first month’s order.
If you do try Raddish, please come back and let me know what you think! I’d also love to hear any of your own tips for getting your kids excited about cooking.