Kai von Ribbeck. Picture supplied.
Kai von Ribbeck. Picture supplied.

Meet Kai von Ribbeck, the 3-year-old foodie

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Mar 8, 2019

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Seeing a kid helping in the kitchen is very cute. 

When Kai von Ribbeck, 3, was old enough to start solids, it was a very exciting time for his parents as they started experimenting with lots of different flavours and taste sensations for him to get his little taste buds excited about what he was eating. 

His mother, Tara von Ribbeck says they encouraged him to participate in meal preparation when he was nine months old which he just loved.

“Kai would just sit on counter (in a safe position) next to the breadboard where I would be chopping.

He had free access to touch and taste everything I was cutting. If he mixed up all the ingredients, that was fine too. 

It was a fantastic sensory experience for him.

Surprisingly one of his favourite things to eat off the chopping board at that age was onion. I think he liked how it felt in his mouth, all nice and juicy and crunchy. By sitting there with access to all the veggies, fruits, mushrooms and more, he experienced many different textures, colours, tastes, and smells”

“When it was time to start cooking, I would put him in his ring sling and he would watch as everything was put into various pots and pans for cooking. As he got older, he started to help put some of the ingredients into the pans which he eyed with great curiosity as their colour and smell changed slightly with cooking”, says Tara.

Kai von Ribbeck. Supplied.

She says between 16-18 months Kai was learning how to cut, peel and grate. 

“He started out with a butter knife so he could not injure himself. We made sure he was always standing in the learning tower at the right level and facing the counter, not at an angle. 

At 2 years and 8 months some foods were still a little tricky for him to cut, such as carrot or potatoes, but he can usually help peel or grate those. He very recently cooked his first scrambled eggs. He was so excited to finally be able to cook something himself from start to finish”, says Tara.

Asked what are his favourite foods, Tara says Kai enjoys broccoli, lentils, fruit, cheese, grated carrots and mushrooms.

She says as much as Kai loves cooking he is an inquisitive child with many interests, so they don’t really know if one day he will the next big thing when it comes to the culinary field.

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