Okay, keiki is definitely my favorite Hawaiian word thus far. It’s pronounced “cake-ee” and means “kid/kids.”
So anytime I say it I think of it as if I’m saying “cakey,” which, um, delish! And my little keiki are cakey and most of the time I really just want to eat them up. I mean, have you seen them?
We’ve always kept our kids involved in the kitchen. It horrifies some people but I open the oven with Sweet M at my legs, and he stands on the stool and helps cook on the stove, etc. Our big kids did the same. But because they’ve always been involved, they learn kitchen safety early on.
And since we’ve been in Oahu I’ve been trying to give them even more reign in the kitchen.
They can both scramble eggs on their own. They cut up veggies like old pros and slice their brother’s grapes in half (yep, I’m one of those moms).
They cut up all the topping and shred chicken and compose their own pizzas for dinner.
Basically, they’re well on their way to being fully self-reliant. Someday they’ll know how to cook for themselves and not rely on microwave meals and fast food (although, we don’t even have a microwave, so maybe they will. It’s always a novelty they marvel over when on travel).
I really don’t want them to grow up to be the young adults who live off of cereal and ramen because that’s all they know how to cook.
I get it. It’s daunting to hand your 3-year-old a pairing knife, but if you teach them early about kitchen safety, then it’s really not quite so scary. And they will be so prod of themselves and much more fulfilled; I swear it.
Plus, it’s really handy and helpful to be able to ask kiddos to help out in the kitchen when you’re busy changing diapers or feeding a baby or scrubbing a toilet; and they don’t feel like it’s work because it’s something they enjoy!
Cooking with your keiki from day one is a win-win for everyone!