SANAA A’ESHA, KIDCHEN
Meet Sanaa A’esha, founder of Kidchen, a cooking school for kids. Sanaa describes her school as “a culinary adventure for kids to discover ingredients, flavours, kitchen skills, and their love for good food”. When she had her son, Eesa (now 5 years old), she always found it strange when everyone warned her about how difficult it is to feed kids once they transition to solids. “How could something adults love indulging in, be repulsive to children?”. It bothered …her to see children forced / tricked / bribed into eating. Keeping this in mind, Sanaa started experimenting in the kitchen with Eesa and by the time he was 2, he helped make his own meals! It was then the idea of Kidchen was born and was set up with a strong belief that if children are introduced to flavours and ingredients early on, they will make better choices, eat better and have a healthy relationship with food.
Setting up Kidchen was not easy. Being a single mother presented several hurdles – simple things like getting a space to rent or coping with financial limitations (having given up a career to start from scratch) all seemed magnified but Sanaa stayed determined through it all and soon saw people warming up to the idea of her cooking school. Given her experience, she cautions all the women who want to follow their heart, to take it one step at a time and stop being “your harshest critic”. She also hopes that her story will encourage more women to acknowledge, help and cheer fellow entrepreneurs.
Kidchen is now gaining popularity and Sanaa’s dream is that it becomes an integral part of school curriculums, but she says that “currently, school boards do not see cooking and nutrition as important as academics, sports, music or art” and encourages parents to lead the way and drive the shift in mind set that will benefit an entire generation.