Children might not always like cooking or being in the kitchen with you. However, cooking is not only a great bonding opportunity but a good way for children to learn more life skills for the future. If you ever had aspirations of enjoying the kitchen with your beloved child, there are a few things you should know. In this guide, we look at a few of these important things and help you find the best way to attract your kid when you want to cook a delicious meal.
Important Things To Keep In Mind When Cooking With Kids:
Not all kids are the same and they learn at different rates. However, you will need to have a lot of patience if you want to get your kid interested. Having asked a couple of parents with kids they cook with, I have learned a few things to ask yourself when cooking with a kid:
Do They Really Have An Interest?
It might tie back to the kids themselves, but if you have a hobby, it does not mean that your kid will enjoy it as much as you do. The cooking experience can be intimidating at first, but once they taste their creations, it is rewarding as well.
Do You Have The Patience To Teach Them?
Since children can take longer than others to learn some of the basics, you need to ask yourself if you have the patience to go through with the process. If you have a high level of tolerance for mistakes without losing your cool, you might be the perfect parent to teach your kid cooking skills.
Are You Willing To Waste A Little Bit Of Food?
If you think back to the days when you overcooked some of your meals, or you messed up with many of the ingredients, you can easily see how this can happen to your kid as well. It is important o have some extra ingredients to ensure you can cook the best meals if mistakes happen.
Cooking With Kids The Step-By-Step Guide:
If you can answer the above-mentioned questions positively, you might be the perfect parent to teach your kid the fundamentals of cooking. Unfortunately, parents don’t know how to get started, but as you start implementing some of these steps, the rest will all come naturally. Here is my step-by-step guide to help children cook the best meals:
Make Them Part Of The Planning:
You might need to bite your tongue a little with this step, but it is important to draw them in with your cooking experience. Planning can be fun, especially when you have a cookbook that shows them the pictures of their favorite dishes. Since this will spike the appetite, you can use it as a way to help them get into it.
1. Teach Them The Important Of Cleanliness:
No matter what or where you are cooking your meals, it is important that they understand some of the basics when it comes to cleanliness. Since food can be spoiled quite rapidly, the cleanliness aspect will help them in the future. One of the first things that I believe children should know is washing their hands when cooking and in between cooking meals.
2. Safety Is Important:
Safety is something we need to teach our children from the get-go. Knives and other sharp objects are commonly found in the kitchen and these need to be either locked up or your kid must learn the safety rules behind them. I think that a kid should start with a smaller knife, or perhaps a safer knife to help them understand how the chopping and cutting process works.
3. Teach Them About Kitchen And Food Safety:
Not all foods can be safe when they are raw. Fish, chicken, and pork can be deadly when it is consumed raw. However, we all like to take a bite or taste when we are cooking. Since your kid might see you doing this when cooking, they can be inclined to do the same. However, when you teach them how dangerous it is, they can take the needed precautions.
Additionally, kitchen safety is the same, especially with the knives and food processes that can have blades and potentially harm your kid. One of the best things you can do is to take each part of the food appliance apart and show them all the dangers associated. Studies have shown that most people prefer learning when they can see.
Tip: Cross-contamination of food is also a big issue, especially when you start mixing foods that have been cooked with your raw foods. Teaching this to your child can help them in the future.
4. Consider Buying Kid-Friendly Utensils:
Utensils are not only limited to those you are using in your kitchen. There are many utensils that can be used in your home, with some smaller designed that make them comfortable for kids. While not all of them can do the same jobs, they can simulate the same results. This will encourage your kid with a sense of achievement.
5. Teaching Your Kid Math Can Be Highly Beneficial:
Mathematics is not only an important skill in life. It is also something we all need if want to survive in the modern era. Most kitchen recipes have some sort of basic math that your kid needs to understand. Additionally, cooking is also one of the best ways to teach them some math, especially when we consider measurements.
1. The Stove Needs Some Safety Rules:
Your other kitchen equipment can be dangerous and harmful to your kid, but the stove is one of the most dangerous parts of your kid’s education. Since it works with heat and many gas stoves can also be a fire risk, you need to set up a couple of rules. Some of these rules can include the regulation of the temperature to a specific point.
Many parents that we have consulted also feel that kids should be a certain age before they get to use the stove on their own. We don’t think children should use the stove on their own unless they have proven themselves to be responsible within other areas of life. You can set up challenges to help them earn the right to use the stove.
2. Teach Them To Follow Instructions:
This tip might be a little out of the ordinary, or the way that I am presenting it might be. However, children might have minds of their own and if they don’t like to follow the directions, we think they should learn by making a dish that does not work, especially if it one of their favorites.
Once they have tasted the meal to not be like they have imagined, they might be disgusted. Now, you have the opportunity to teach them to make the meals using the right instructions. If it comes out perfect and they enjoy it, they will start abiding by the cooking rules of following a recipe. Additionally, it can also be great for creativity to help them explore different flavors and combinations.
3. Supervision At All Times Is Important:
While older children can cook basic meals without supervision, it is still important to have some sort of supervision when your kid is busy cooking their favorite meals. The supervision would not be intimidating, but rather take an approach that is more encouraging. This will help them maintain their confidence, and also learn something new in the process.
4. Reward Them For Their Meals:
Once your children have eventually mastered a meal or they are comfortable with cooking something they like, it is important to reward them. A small thing like a tasty cupcake can help them feel a sense of accomplishment. Since this can turn into a snowball effect, you might find your kid in the kitchen ready to help you more often than not.
If they have cooked something unique, you can use treats and even candy to help encourage them to continue cooking in the future.
A Few Additional Tips That You Can Keep In Mind To Make It More Fun:
Cooking can be boring or rather it can become boring after a while. Since children like novelty and they want to have something complexly new to keep their attention, you might need a few tips to keep them interested. This does not mean that your kid will become a chef one day, but it does allow keeping them interested for longer.
Spontaneity Is Key:
Cooking the same meals over and over again can be a little frustrating for many people. Fortunately, we have many cookbooks that allow you to vary your meals and find the right one for your kid. Once they have eventually found the right method and they have mastered a specific meal, it might be time to broaden their horizons.
Start With Desserts:
Children love sweet meals and they also love looking forward to something that they can gobble up. While vegetables might not be the best place to start, you can be sure that a good dessert will keep your kid motivated. At first, you can leave them to do the tasting, but eventually, draw them in to help you cook the meals.
Complicated Meals Can Wait:
If you like Gordon Ramsay, you might have heard about the infamous Beef Wellington as his signature dish. Yes, we can actually make it look like an easy meal to make, but unfortunately, this is not the case for those of use without acclaimed chef achievements. A simple microwave cake can be much easier to make for your little one.
Setting Up And Cleaning The Table:
While you are at it and you have them in the kitchen, you might as well teach them even more important life skills they can use. Cleaning the area that has been used for eating is an important thing that every child should know. You don’t have to throw them into the deep end by making them wash dishes, but simply removing the dishes from the table is not too much to ask.
Then setup can be tricky and different meals have different methods that can be used for setting up for your guests. You can teach your kid some table manners by allowing them to set up the table and understand which piece of cutlery should go in which location. For fine dining, you can show them where to start eating as well.
What Are The Benefits Of Cooking With Your Kids:
There are many ways to spend time with your kids, but with the rush of the modern-day, it can be really hard to spend enough time with them. Once you have started cooking with your kids or when you plan to do so, here are a couple of the benefits that you can expect to see:
- Spending Quality Time Together: Quality time is extremely important and when you start cooking with your kids, you will spend some more time with them and have some fun.
- Teaching Them Basic Life Skills: Basic skills are very important in the modern era and when we teach our children something like cooking, they will be better equipped to face the future.
- Educational Skills: As you might have seen in some of the above-mentioned points, you might have noticed that it can be a really educational process. Not only will it enhance motor skills in the child, but even improve math.
These are only a few small things that you expect to see when you start cooking with your children. We should also mention that many other activities that you generally do in life can also bring you closer to your children and help them improve their lives.
Cooking is one of the best things that you can do and we all love to have good meals. Teaching your kids how to cook and allowing them to join you will definitely make your life easier. Let us know what you think about cooking with your kids and if we might have missed any of the important steps for cooking.