193 Boosting Confidence and Family Connections in the Kitchen with Katie Kimball
Imagine the freedom and time you'd gain if your kids could confidently whip up healthy meals in the kitchen! Join us for an insightful conversation with Katie Kimball, an expert in teaching parents how to stay healthy without going crazy. Throughout our chat, Katie shares her wisdom on getting kids involved in the kitchen, which not only frees up time for parents but also gives kids a boost of confidence and creates stronger family connections.
We delve into the importance of teaching kids basic kitchen skills and safety, taking inspiration from activities in Katie's LifeSkillsNow summer camp. By starting with the stove off and playing the "hot or not hot" game, children can gradually build their self-esteem in the kitchen. Katie also stresses the importance of investing time upfront to reap the rewards later when it comes to teaching kids essential life skills.
Lastly, don't miss the details on Katie's incredible LifeSkillsNow Summer Camp, open to kids of all ages, from toddlers to teens, and completely free! This empowering event covers essential life skills that aren't typically taught in the classroom, such as finance, gardening, cooking, entrepreneurship, and time management. Equip your children with the skills they need to thrive throughout their lives by tuning in to our fascinating conversation with Katie Kimball.
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Speaker 1: Hey everyone, I am so excited to introduce you to Katie Kimball here today. Man, do I wish I had found her in my life years ago, when I was first navigating, bringing some basic kitchen cooking skills into my daughter and realizing I could have done things a lot better than I did. But hey, it's never too late to get started. So she's going to be sharing some tips around that that, let's face it. Ultimately, that's going to free up your time, right, and we're all looking for ways to save time. Feel a little bit more productive, maybe have some more downtime for yourself. And then I want you guys to listen up, because I've got to link into the show notes to an amazing event open to you and all your children. It is going to be an online summer camp that Katie is spearheading, so I'm not going to give it all away now. Let's go ahead, jump in and get started.
Speaker 1: Welcome to the Work + Life Harmony podcast. I'm your host, Megan Sumrell. I'm the creator of the top program and top planner teaching all things time management, organization and productivity for women. I'm also a mom and wife and, just like you, i'm juggling, hashtag all the things while running multiple businesses and a family. Guess what You don't have to feel constantly overwhelmed, exhausted and stressed out. There is another way. When you have the right systems and tools to plan and manage your time, you can live a life of harmony. This is your show to learn from me and other amazing women how to master your time planning and organization to skyrocket your productivity so you can have work life harmony. If you're ready to stop feeling overwhelmed, this is the show for you, and if you're new here, i'd love to get you started with my work life harmony assessment. All you have to do is DM me on Instagram at Megan Sumrell, with the word harmony, and my team will send it right over.
Speaker 1: Hey everyone, welcome back to work life harmony. I am thrilled to actually introduce you all to our guest here today, katie Kimball, a kind of funny story of sometimes the world seems so small on paths. I'm going to let her introduce herself first, tell you all about what she does, who she serves She's amazing. Then I'm going to tell you the funny story of how we know each other and then we're actually going to dive into everything. So, katie, welcome to the show. So glad to have you here and I'd love for you to introduce yourself.
Speaker 2: Well, thank you, Megan. Hello everyone, i am a mom of four kids and I was just telling Megan that I have one who just turned 18. So I'm about to enter into next level, parenting. I do not know what to expect from that. So, yes, i've been at this for a while and I started teaching parents, families, how to stay healthy without going crazy, way back in 2009.
Speaker 2: And somewhere along the way Before, it was like the in thing. I know I love walking upstream Yeah, that's kind of like pushing against the culture is totally my jam. And somewhere along the way I realized that, although I had started out pretty well with my first one or two kids and like getting them in the kitchen and having them help me cook, that as we added to our family and got busier I had lost that. So my son, my oldest son, paul, had sort of gone from first grade, where he knew how to make homemade guacamole and impressed all the family at our family gatherings. All the way to fourth grade He hadn't really learned anything new in the kitchen. So, him being 10, that's, you know, past that 50% of parenting mark, which PS flew from 10 to 18, i just thought I don't want them to leave home without having cooking skills And also I'm spending way too much time not seeing the faces that I'm feeding lovingly because it's me and the cutting board. So I kind of spent that summer teaching the ones who are old enough to cook The little one was a baby at the time And then I realized that other families need that too.
Speaker 2: Like other, moms are kind of walking around, like our generation tended to not be taught to cook very well. So we're kind of walking around going, oh my gosh, like I wasn't taught to cook, how can I possibly bring my kids in the kitchen? I'm barely hanging on, you know, with meal planning by a thread. So that's what I do now is I teach kids to cook. I help parents teach kids to cook, i should say, and really have found that that builds their confidence and builds family connection and does so much more outside the kitchen And, as we'll talk about today, even helps time management.
Speaker 1: Yeah, right, i mean, think about it, guys. Imagine the time you're spending in the kitchen. What if it was somebody else in your family and maybe you were even around working on something else? so you're still having that together time but someone else is doing the cooking like to me that, and my husband's a big cook, so like I love that when he's cooking I'll just be around and we're conversing and all of that. But really excited to learn how to get my daughter more involved in the kitchen And guys, just how small of a world it is.
Speaker 1: I actually first met Katie a while back. I am in a program I've shared with many of you in my community. One of my vision board dreams is to speak on a TEDx stage. I've invested in a program to help me navigate that journey And I showed up to practice my talk one day and Katie happens to be a speaker coach in that community, so we had connected there.
Speaker 1: And then you all already know the amazing Katie Wells. We've had her on the show a number of times. I was chatting with her one day and she's like oh yeah, this is amazing event coming up, there's a woman who runs it. She's incredible. Her name is Katie Kimball. I was like, well, hang on, i know that there's so many Kates right, and so it's just so interesting how I feel like some days the world feels so big and then other days it feels so incredibly small on how we get to know folks. First I'm gonna have you know, got a couple of questions here for Katie And then at the end, i really want you guys to stick with me because there is an incredible event coming that is completely free for your kids, to plug them in, to teach them any and all sorts of life skills, from your toddlers all the way through to your teens and beyond.
Speaker 1: So we're gonna be telling you all about that here today. I am super excited for the event because we had a very early start to our summer break here, and so this is gonna be something I can plug my daughter into for several days as well. So, katie, for those of us let's just say, hypothetically speaking, i had not done a great job on getting my child involved in the kitchen, for a number of reasons that I think some parents can relate to of. Just that was just faster if I do it, mentality right Along with a child who really is afraid of working with knives, tools, that kinds of thing? Where is an easy place for people to start when they're bringing their kids into the kitchen?
Speaker 2: I love that you brought up kids who are scared and parents who think it's faster and easier to do it themselves, because both of those are just choruses. I hear all the time in the mom's song Quicker and easier to do it myself, you know, and it's so true in the short term. So the first step, moms and dads, is to change your own mindset. It really is Like we would never say about homework Oh, it's quicker and easier for me to do it for my kid, i bought it. I'll tell you what, bonkers, we would never say about bedtime That's quicker and easier if I just tie them down or I don't know like pick something else.
Speaker 2: It's never quicker and easier to do it yourself in the long run. And so we've got to think about the 18 year long parenting gig that we're all a part of and think what do we really want for our kids as they become adults? Do we want them to have to be figuring it all out as they go? Or, like me, i would rather my kids spend their college or their young adult years finding a career they love, finding a human being they love You know what I mean? Like there's so much that their brains and bodies need to be doing at that age I don't need them to be still figuring out how to feed themselves. So that's like I think, if we get that burning motivation and that fire in our belly of I want this for my kids. Like that's the place from which we start And then we simplify, simplify, simplify. It's not. How do I teach my kids to cook? It's well. Can I have my daughter wash up some lettuce? And maybe that's for a younger one. Can I teach my child to measure a teaspoon of a seasoning so that they're doing this 5% contribution to the end product? We do hear a lot of families of kids who are maybe ready to work at the stove or ready to use sharp knives, and the kids are very nervous, or the parents make and are very, very nervous. Sometimes it's the parent side And the feedback we get on the way that we teach with my kids in our videos is that it helps kids so much to see other kids who are just like them doing it, like that's a huge step. So we're gonna talk a little bit about our LifeSkillsNow summer camp.
Speaker 2: Last year we taught measuring to little kids and stove safety to kind of the medium sized to big kids And we played a game called hot or not hot. You start with the stove off, right, that's huge. The kids always are thinking like if I'm gonna touch the stove, it's already gonna be on. There's fire there. What if I turn the dial the wrong way? It goes up instead of down, like that's terrifying.
Speaker 2: So we start literally by just touching different parts and saying hot or not hot? What will this be if the stove was on? And it's kind of a game. It's kind of good. The kids actually enjoyed it and their confidence level boosts. Then you just turn on and off the flame. If you have a gas stove, right, you just turn it on and you turn it off And you practice Which direction do we turn it off so that there's that like safety net? I know how to turn it off? That's the most important thing. If I get freaked out off, it goes. And with the oven, kids are really afraid of the oven And I don't blame them. I think when adults get injured in the kitchen it's very likely you're hitting that forearm Right.
Speaker 1: With the oven glass sometimes when I open the door, if I'm down to Oh yeah, it melts your mascara.
Speaker 2: It's terrible. Or one of my kids was rushing and dumped half of a pizza as he was trying to put it into the oven. Like these are not fun things to think about. So what do you do? You practice with it off. You have the kids put the oven mitts on, pick up a cookie sheet or a nine by 13 glass pan with nothing on it and put it in and out as many times as they need. That helps boost their confidence so very much that now, rather than being scared, they're actually like anxious to get started. They're excited to give it a try, because once you do it, then you feel really good about yourself. Like it's a genuine self-esteem boost. And I think that's what, as parents, we all want for our kids, right? We want them to feel amazing about themselves. That's not going to happen with good job participation medals. That's going to happen with authentic contribution, which means they have to be trained in authentic skills.
Speaker 1: Oh, so good. I'm already seeing things. I'm like oh, when we've broached the oven and the stove, it's always been okay while we're cooking. let me show you Never even thought to say let's just practice this with nothing on. Instead of the first time they're doing it, you're putting a cookie sheet in an already preheated oven.
Speaker 2: That's about planning that time management for those five or 10 minutes? Yeah, nothing is happening in the kitchen.
Speaker 1: And I will say to your time management point this ties so much into my whole career in software testing prior to this is understanding that the investment and the time that you will make upfront what that payoff is way downstream You may be thinking how does that relate to software? But in the software world it was always the sooner we can find a problem in the software while we're building it. It's so much cheaper to fix it there than if the whole thing's built and now we've got to go back and take things apart and fix it and redo it. And so that's the mind shift I've always had as I've implemented skills that Katie Wells teaches about getting kids, training them to teach them how to pick up And then also in the kitchen is okay. Making the chocolate chip cookie dough is going to take 20 minutes longer than usual. But then think of all the things for the next five, 10, 15 years that I won't have to do because of that initial investment upfront.
Speaker 2: Would you like some examples of what I don't have to do anymore? Yes, i would. I want to know what's possible. I mean I almost feel like I'm bragging, but I'm not, because it's about putting in the investment. I mean, my three older kids have the earlier start time. My little guy's still eight years old, so he starts a little later. I get to sleep till the eight-year-old start time, Megan, because the three older kids completely run breakfast. We only have cereal once a week. So this is like cooking breakfast two to three mornings a week and then oatmeal on the other one or two. I mean that sounds terrible. I don't even see them most of the time because they're running breakfast on their own.
Speaker 2: My daughter is 14. She's a high school freshman And so she needs even a little more time than her brothers to get ready for school, as one might imagine. So she's always the first up. So even when I was kind of getting up at the earlier start time, she was still beating me up and she got really frustrated not knowing what exactly was for breakfast. So this fall she actually asked for permission to be in charge of the meal planning because she wanted to know what was for breakfast. So she had some skin in the game, she had real motivation. So she got out a whiteboard and every Sunday she sits down and writes down all the breakfast And she'll ask me if I have dinner meal plans, which is incredibly helpful for me because I'm a bit of a unscheduled mess type of a person and I love having a meal plan, but I don't always do it.
Speaker 2: She's kind of my accountability system, in fact. If I write something in there, she will erase it and write it in her better handwriting in the right color. Yeah, she would be like your ideal client, for sure. And I haven't packed. I mean, when we do, we still pack lunches for my little guy, but he's in second grade and we're just starting to transition him to packing his own. So I have part of one of my bios, as I've packed 2,500 lunches, but that's a number that is becoming static because the bigger ones pack their own little lunches. Yeah, for years.
Speaker 1: And for those of you listening that attended the Master Year Morning workshop that we did just a few months back, a lot of you there were saying I don't want to have to get up earlier. I'm not that morning person. I don't want to have to wake up 45 minutes before my kid wakes up to have the time I need. Well, imagine if, as you're saying, Katie, you were waking up when your child was and you were getting your morning routine in by yourself while they were doing their breakfast, And then those two activities could end at the same time to continue on with the morning. Like if that doesn't light a fire for all of you listening that do not want to get up earlier to have that much needed time to yourself in the morning, if that was your morning routine personality type, I'm already seeing the benefit of that, That's huge For sure, and one tip that I've shared with my community of moms and families for years is this is like a morning tip in a way for packing lunches is pack lunches while everything is out at dinner.
Speaker 2: I don't know if that's something that you teach, but oh my goodness, like if we have tacos, everybody's having taco salad the next day with cold taco meat. You like think about to make taco salad in the morning. You got to get out sour cream cheese salsa, like it's like five or six different items and all the utensils. So we definitely like try to send our kids back through the dinner line with their lunch containers at night, and that's so helpful And especially as we're trying to again train our second grader to take over. You don't always have those extra minutes in the morning for him to be his slow eight year old self, but right after dinner it's totally the perfect time. You know he can spill a little sour cream.
Speaker 1: You know he can be a plus again, the time savings there as well. Like he said, it's already out Now. You're not cleaning multiple times, you're not getting stuff out multiple times And anything to alleviate the morning any more stresses in the morning before school is always going to be a win for sure. Exactly Again, hypothetically speaking, you have an older child, maybe 12ish, and you're now seeing some paths that you wished you'd taken, that you hadn't, in terms of just skills in the kitchen, any tips on bringing older kids in a way that feels appropriate for their age, but yet you're still having to teach some of those basic skills. But you want to make it feel right if that makes sense.
Speaker 2: For sure. I mean motivating a younger child and motivating a preteen or teen completely different chapters in the Parenting Handbook. Right, i would say. I mean especially if you have someone who is a little bit hesitant. You know, age wise, obviously a 12 year old is ready for a chef's knife and balancing multiple recipes and working at the stove. But that's a process. So I would say to try to find some recipes that are real recipes that then don't use the stove and don't use the knife.
Speaker 2: So I might think of something like a homemade lair bar. You know where it's like fruit, dried fruit, and so that uses the food processor. And kids can be really creative. So I would infuse the creativity as part of the like quote. This is an older kid skill. You know what I mean, because that's not difficult to make. But they can mess around with their own seasonings or they can switch out some of the nuts or some of the dried fruit and try different varieties with really low risk, because you can make tiny batches. Then you only need the skills of measuring and using a food processor.
Speaker 1: So that's awesome, that's a really good one Yeah.
Speaker 2: Other good ones are dips like a homemade ranch dip, homemade guacamole, hummus, stuff like that. Again, those are like real deal things. They're awesome, too, because you can take them to a party, and I always feel a party gathering when the grandparents come over. I always feel like providing an opportunity for authentic praise.
Speaker 1: Right.
Speaker 2: Right Beyond the immediate family members. That will help boost the motivation for those older kids, especially those who thrive on praise. Not everyone does, but many do, and so that, which is awesome, when we go to a party or a potluck and you can say, oh, i guess who made the guac? My daughter's just tried something new, and everyone will automatically, without you coaching them, be like oh, my goodness, that's so awesome Way to go.
Speaker 1: I'm just trying to envision someone bringing me guacamole Got a loan would be my happy place, right, oh, so good, all right. So let's talk about this amazing life skills summer camp that's coming up. I'd love for you. This is the third year or second?
Speaker 2: year. This is our second year with summer camp and fourth year doing summer camps.
Speaker 1: Okay, So tell us about the life skills summer camp. I'd love to know kind of how you even came up with this, because this is a massive undertaking.
Speaker 2: Yes, it's growing. It's growing too. It's kind of crazy. We started summer camps in 2020 because parents were losing their minds.
Speaker 2: I don't know if you remember back then, but everything closed and my team and I said, oh, my goodness, we have to do something. And so we just took our flagship cooking course and ran it summit style, where we gave it a way completely for free, 24 hours at a time. It was awesome. I mean, we served a lot of people. It was a good business proposition as well, but mostly, like I'm a mission minded business person, so I was very, very happy to let people cook with their kids that summer And everyone was like we can't wait to come back next summer And I thought, oh really, oh, i guess I got to do this again. So we invented something new.
Speaker 2: The next summer We did a snacks cooking camp and it was just me and my family. And after that I thought, okay, we've got to iterate again. You know, we can't just do the same thing. And looking at our customer surveys, we asked why did you buy our cooking class? And the most chosen answer is I want my kids to have life skills And I thought that might be an important little nugget here. Right, what if I could serve my community that they really wanted anyway? Like, i can't give them all the life skills, but I love meeting people online, Megan, as you told in your story. We connected in two different ways within like a few months. I thought what if I could tap into different colleagues in different areas of expertise and get other people to teach kids life skills? That was the first Life Skills Now summer camp.
Speaker 2: Last year we had 50 different camp leaders in areas such as finances, gardening, cooking, of course, entrepreneurship. We had tracks for parents and preschool parents to get. We didn't want the little tiny tots on the screens, but we wanted them to still have something to do. We spoke to their parents. We had 65 workshops and it was something. It was really awesome. Again, it was clear like, okay, now I have to do this again next year and do this thing. No more messing around with snacks in the Kimball kitchen. We're going to do Life Skills Now again. This year we're pushing 90 workshops. We have 50 new camp leaders, including you. I was so thrilled to have you on board. It's such a great topic that you're teaching about breaking down a big project into little pieces. I have a big project and it is many little pieces that we're just trying to kick out of the way and get checked off the list.
Speaker 1: Guys listen at 90 different workshops Again, ranging from if you're a parent of a preschooler all the way up to teens. It's going to have the mix of everything. It's stuff that you can have your children watch themselves. You can watch with them with some of it, or for some of the parenting tracks, things that you can be watching on your own to then learn some skills to implement.
Speaker 1: One of the things that I'm very passionate about when it comes to time management I talk about it all the time is it's a life skill, but it's one that's not being taught When we really take a step back and think about it cooking, finances, time management, organization, how do we clean Those aren't things being taught in a traditional classroom. For so many of us like the older I get things just happen on autopilot you don't realize that this was a teachable. We almost miss opportunities to recognize. This is something like a skill I need to sit down and teach. This is going to be an incredible opportunity for everyone who has children to either plug them in, plug yourselves in and really get the lay of the land of yeah, there are so many opportunities and things that I could be teaching and passing on to my kids now, but then having experts help you do that, as Katie mentioned.
Speaker 1: I'm thrilled to be a part of this.
Speaker 1: I'm going to be teaching kids if they get one of those big school projects like the big book report or the dreaded science fair or whatever it is some skills for them to say, okay, how do I break this down so that it's not the night before and your kid is coming to you going yeah, so we need to go to the store because I need five things a poster board and glitter glue and they've known about it for three weeks, and now here we are trying to cram it in.
Speaker 1: I'm going to hopefully be breaking down a lot of stuff I typically teach adults and then sharing some of that with some of the older kids on breaking down their own projects. But I know I'm really excited to get my daughter plugged into this in some areas that I know she's interested in, and then, as a parent, i know I'm going to be consuming all the parent tracks as well. So this is, i think, one of the largest online events I've ever seen anyone put on, with this many people, and I must say I'm blown away with everything that you have put together, katie. It's going to be amazing.
Speaker 2: Thank you. Should we give a little preview of some of the topics?
Speaker 1: Oh, that would be great. And, guys, if you're listening in the show notes, we've got a link for you to go sign up. It is free and, like all summits usually, there is always going to be the opportunity where you're not able to get through all of this. You're going to be able to purchase a pass so that you can go back and watch and rewatch as well. So if you know you're plugging your kids in, just go ahead and get the pass. So you have it. But again, if you want to test it out for a day, just sign up enjoying. You'd be crazy not to. But yeah, give us a sneak peek of what's coming in.
Speaker 2: OK, so we do. We kind of do the hard skills, for example, sewing on a button. We've got recipes for five minute chocolate mousse, homemade lemonade, food processor, fresh salsa, pasta salad bar. There's hard skills for teens, like how to use a debit card. I learned stuff about credit cards that I did not know until my 40s. What Like. We actually went to a credit union and filmed a three part series for teens on how to open their check and account, get a debit card and how to use it So good. We have another three part series on auto maintenance. Again, we filmed that.
Speaker 2: So like I know the quality, I wanted to kind of keep control of some stuff. This year My daughter and I just filmed with a chef at an Italian restaurant and made homemade pasta last week, And so so fun. And then the soft skills when we think about things like communication. So how to speak politely to elderly people is one of them. Last year we did how to make a phone call and so many parents said what you just said is I never thought about the fact that I had to teach this. My kids have never Plus kids aren't using the phone, right?
Speaker 1: I mean, we knew, but just as I was born, knowing how to my child's born, how to use devices, and it's like you call people That's crazy.
Speaker 2: Well, that's kind of more of the hard skills, But soft skills. We do a lot with emotional regulation. So Dr Serini Pillay is a Harvard professor and a really kind of famous author. He's teaching scenes about self care and avoiding burnout before it starts. So amazing, So smart.
Speaker 2: We've got a couple of counselors and nutritional therapy practitioners teaching younger kids some coping skills, some things they can do in their bodies to regulate their nervous system. Like really. I mean we know anxiety has been spiking for years and then the pandemic sort of added jet fuel to that unfortunate statistic. Our kids need these kind of soft skills that they're not. I mean, they might be learning at school, but I feel like they need to learn them in the family environment as well, because we've got to have that common vocabulary so we can remind them what to do when they're in a moment of a big emotion, of sadness or fear or anger, you know, so they can tap into all of those. Then we got the entrepreneur attract how to write a book in 30 days, how to start your own service-based neighborhood business. Dustin Reckman is demonstrating how his kids they cleaned out people's garbage cans in their neighborhood and they ended up because dirty job, right, But they made like $13 to $15 an hour, Wow, I know. So really just inspiring kids to think out of the standard box. I mean, I mentioned I like walking upstream. So we're thinking out of the standard box of right, what we learn in school, convenience foods, et cetera, et cetera And really like how can we do things for ourselves? There's folding laundry and cleaning bathrooms too, to get super practical.
Speaker 2: Talk about managing your time. If you're sharing responsibility in your family on tasks like that, It gives you more time to spend quality with your kids, right? That's what I always see like sharing responsibilities in the family. If everyone is helping to make dinner, if everyone's cleaning up after dinner, if everyone's kind of doing just the normal chores that constantly pop back on your list every week because it's dirty again, then you have time to go climb that tree or go jump on the trampoline or go play catch or, you know, go for a family walk or a bike ride. It drives me nuts when there are self-care experts. I know you and I share the same views on that. Yes, My assistant even wrote a note because she didn't know we knew each other well. She was like, by the way, she feels the same way about self-care as you for this interview. But all these experts will be like parents just leave the dishes, go climb the tree And I'm like that's so nice.
Speaker 1: Why does it have to be or I've never understood to have quality time with your kids, then your house has to be a disheveled mess and everything left.
Speaker 2: I'm like you could have both, And that's lovely for five minutes until you've not done the dishes for a week, and then you're drowning in them. I like the both and Just do the dishes together. Go climb the tree And then go climb the tree.
Speaker 1: Yeah, oh, i can't wait for this. This is going to be amazing. Everybody, please hit the link in the show notes, get signed up. What are the dates?
Speaker 2: June 12th through 17th 2023.
Speaker 1: All right, I will be at camp and I hope to see you guys there. Thanks so much, Katie. You're so welcome. Getting on top of all things time management, organization, and productivity doesn't have to stop just because this episode is over. If you want one-tap access to all of my training and current top podcasts, go to the app store or Google Play and download ThePinkBee app. It's one word, ThePinkBee. It is jam-packed with simple yet powerful tips and strategies to get you out of overwhelm and end to harmony. And if you have a question you want me to cover on a future episode, go to iTunes and ask your question in the podcast review section. And while you're there, don't forget to leave a five-star review.