I love getting my daughter involved with cooking – although yes, it does require some patience! But that said, I love that cooking teaches children so many important life skills that they will need as they grow up and can help them understand about health and nutrition.
I started getting her involved in cooking when she was about two and now she is really helpful in the kitchen. With that in mind, here are some tips for cooking with children.
Cook something they love to eat
If you start off by cooking something that they love to eat they can get really excited about it. When they are little you can get them started with baking which always goes down well. As they get older you can progress to pasta dishes, pizzas, soups, omelttes and the like. I usually save this for weekends on holidays when there is more time and you feel less rushed.
Let them use the proper equipment
Now this does have to be age appropriate but it’s important to let children use knives and other implements when cooking. I’m not saying to let them use the sharpest knife in the house but we need to teach them how to use knives properly. Kids can also handle electric whisks, graters and blenders in cooking as well so long as they learn to use them safely. We often do most of this sort of thing at the kitchen table which seems to be able to give them better control and more confidence.
Make it fun
This is so important. Cooking doesn’t need to be a chore and kids love getting involved. If you can make it into a family activity then they will really enjoy it. A family pizza making session goes down well – make the dough from scratch and let them put on their favourite toppings.
Teach proper techniques
As well as letting children use the right equipment it’s also important to teach them proper techniques. This means they can cook safely under supervision. If using the hob or the oven they need to be able to do this safely. They need to be taught basic kitchen safety like keeping aprons away from the flame, making sure pan handles point the correct way and being careful when they open the oven. It also important to teach them how to use a knife correctly and hold items when you chop them.
Encourage them to help on a daily basis
This doesn’t always have to be in preparing the meal. You can get them to help by getting the ingredients out, laying the table or clearing up afterwards. Why not incorporate this into the daily routine which is genuinely helpful. My daughter loves to help with peeling the vegetables or encourage them to ask what else they can help with.
Getting children involved in cooking has so many benefits and I hope these tips will help you get on your way and cooking with kids!
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