Food Business Skills for Kids – Photo by Karly Gomez on Unsplash
Equipping kids with life skills is one of the best legacies parents can leave for their kids. The more life skills they develop the more tools they will have for building a bright future. With meal preparation and money management being two practical life skills for kids, the concept of having a food business isn’t far behind. As such, it will be a good idea to expose kids to culinary and entrepreneurial activities at a young age. There are plenty of ways to do this and here are some ideas that you can start with.
Practice with Pretend Play
When it is a bit too early to put up capital and start a real business, pretend play is your best option. The terms of your pretend play are of course dependent on the age and skill of your child. Go with whatever is on hand to set up your pretend food business. It could be food toys or real food ranging from biscuits plated and served by your child to baked or cooked dishes prepared by your child. There are online culinary resources that you and your child can explore together for simple and easy-to-cook food for your business. Remember to go through all the steps, in very simple terms, with your little one. Also, let your child’s imagination run free and respect his ideas. It is his food business after all.
Simulate Strategy through online games
Tech-savvy kids might be more interested in online cooking games. There are plenty of options when it comes to these games, from hotdog stands and snack stations to cafes and full-service restaurants. Most of these games are free to play and easy to learn. There are timed games that challenge your child’s reaction time in ‘serving’ the customers and making sure that they get their orders in a jiff. There are also games that give kids a more in-depth look at what goes on in a food business. The Pizza Cafe for instance is a fun game that kids can enjoy as they learn the quirks of a culinary business. The Coffee Shop Game is also a fun game that includes variables like the weather, pricing, and recipe in the game challenge. Thereby teaching kids how to adapt and adjust to changing business environments.
Go and Get Real with it
For kids who are a bit older and have already learned some simple skills (i.e. counting, baking, cooking, etc.), you can already venture into kiddie-sized biz. Have a planning session and talk about what to sell, what supplies you need, how to set up your store physically, etc. Given that this is the real thing and will now involve real money for investment it can be easy for parents to get carried away with planning and running the business. Never forget that this is your child’s food business and your role is that of a mere consultant. Make your child take ‘ownership’ of the food business by giving him the reins. You’d be surprised at what you can learn from kids running a business. Here are some kiddie food business ideas that have been tried and tested.
Lemonade Stand. A favorite among young kids since it does not require any culinary skills at all and is easy to set up.
No-Bake Desserts. Homemade Blueberry cheesecake, Graham Balls, and other no-bake desserts are great for kids who already know how to measure and mix ingredients.
Cookies, Brownies, and other Baked Goodies. If your child can already handle the oven, baked goodies are great options for a kiddie food business. Take it from the girl scouts.
Equipping kids with the skills they need for a food business takes time. The earlier you start exposing them to activities that hone these skills the better. Time spent honing these skills will not be put to waste even if they don’t end up pursuing a food business as adults. Culinary skills are always handy for daily nutrition. There are also practical benefits in exposing kids to entrepreneurship.