A great way to help turn the lives around of at-risk kids is teaching them how to cook, says Vanessa Baxter.
She's released a book of simple kid-friendly recipes called The Fearless Kitchen.
The recipes are super simple family food, but with a twist, inspired by her travels through Asia and Europe.
From an early age – as young as 18 months they can get into stirring – kids can develop a broader knowledge of food and keenness to try new foods if they’re part of the cooking, and learning how to cook simple recipes from scratch inevitably leads to healthier eating in any age group, Baxter says.
“Rather than just sitting them at the table and presenting it to them, if you can get them involved and engaged in the kitchen with you, then they're more encouraged and more likely to try new flavours and tastes and things.”
Check out Vanessa's recipe for kid-friendly Crispy Pork Dumplings.
Vanessa Baxter is a Ronald McDonald House Ambassador and has recently been involved with Bridge the Gap, teaching youth in New Zealand prisons how to cook.