How to introduce your kids to the kitchen?
“What’s for dinner?” must be one of the least popular questions parents everywhere hear daily. The quickest and easiest choice for many families may be to eat out and avoid all the fuss and mess in the kitchen. However, letting your kids help and take part in the cooking process with you can be very satisfying for both parties involved. For you, it may seem less like work and for the kids, it’s a whole new experience of discovery and learning.
Each child is different and requires a different approach, but if you keep it simple and follow these tips, you’ll make it an enjoyable experience worth repeating.
Picking out recipes
Learning how to cook together with your kids doesn’t have to be all cuts and burns. The key is taking baby steps! Start simple with washing fruits and vegetables, tearing salad leaves, measuring and pouring liquids. As kids get more confident and coordinated, move on to specific child-safe tools and utensils.
The same goes for reading recipes. Start with easy, short, 5-step instructions for making smoothies or puddings and let your kids learn as they go. This way, smaller kids practice their reading skills and following instructions and it also helps them get a sense of achievement and building self-esteem. With older kids, you can let them find a recipe they like and you can learn the preparation together.
Setting clear rules
It’s very important to set clear goals and rules at the beginning as it will ensure the safety of the whole cooking process. Kids need to know what’s allowed and what’s not, so delegate tasks carefully according to their age and level of development. Let them know which knives and sharp tools they can use and show them how to do it. Be there to supervise and allow them to make mistakes. After all, it’s not about cooking a perfect meal, it’s about fun and learning. Also remember that younger kids have a very short attention span and can get bored quickly so alternate their tasks from washing to cutting or stirring. And finally, teach them the importance of cleaning up after everything is done.
Using kitchen appliances
One of important steps in the cooking process is knowing how to properly us various kitchen appliances. At first, they may seem confusing and intimidating to kids, but as they grow and learn correct handling, their confidence will grow. That’s when you can give them more freedom and let them dictate the course of cooking by allowing them to use oven and heating or thawing in the microwave.
One more important lesson for the kids is learning about preserving food and storing it in containers at low temperatures so they don’t spoil. For instance, the new generation of Electrolux refrigerators doesn’t only have ample space in the freezer and on the four glass shelves, but it also offers the convenience of a crisper drawer where you can store your fruits and vegetables and control the amount of moisture inside which can prolong their life span.
As we have already mentioned, getting your kids involved in meal preparation will also help them deepen their knowledge of food and ingredients. Don’t forget to include them in the shopping process as well. Make the lists together, show them how to make clever choices of healthy food and with older kids, make sure they learn how to read nutrition labels. This is a great piece of advice for life as they will naturally begin to think about what’s inside the products they’re buying and they’ll make better choices on their own in future.
Cooking together with the kids can be a really positive and fun experience for the whole family. It helps kids understand better the whole food preparation process and form healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. It also gives family members the chance to spend more quality time together.
If one thing is true about Lillian Connors, her mind is utterly curious. That’s why she can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of green living/home improvement projects and spread the word about them. She cherishes the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. You can check her out LinkedIn.