Getting Kids Involved in the Kitchen
Getting dinner on the table each day can be a huge challenge for a lot of parents. Kids eat dinner early, which means you don’t have time to play around in the kitchen. They can also be makes it difficult to serve food the whole family can enjoy.
Kids love to have some control over what they eat – they like the feeling of some power over their own lives. Including them while making a shopping list or simply asking for suggestions could make a big difference.
Children have a developing palette, they may hate a certain taste but may develop a liking for it in the future – Introducing kids to new flavours and cuisines can be extremely helpful.
There are many ways that children of different ages can get involved in the process of cooking or even just helping out in the kitchen. Check out our easy tips for different aged children to involve them in your kitchen chores: (note: each step should be done with adult supervision)
- Little kids of age 2 years and above will happily help add and stir the ingredients for you, just make sure it is supervised so nothing raw goes in their mouth!
- Let them wash fruits and vegetables for cooking or eating. They can even break broccoli off the stems or tear up lettuce. Take it a step further and teach them about food safety and cleanliness.
- Teach them how to crack an egg and then whisk it up for you – but always remember to teach them to wash their hands afterwards!
- Most kids will happily squeeze a lemon, so get them involved in this process when you need to make a sauce or a marinade. You never know it might turn into a lemonade making competition!
- During the whole process, let the kids do a taste test – who doesn’t remember growing up and licking the bowl or the spoon during a cooking session with their mum and dad. Ask them if they think it tastes good or if it needs something extra!
- Make it fun by asking your kids to cut shapes using cookie cutters – they can help assemble the dish into a picture. It could be anything from a clown face to a dinosaur! Experiment and try making a funny face by using broccoli as hair! Or take it a step further and help children learn about various shapes them food!
- Why not try letting them plan their own meal and theme? Maybe it is related to something they are learning about at school? They may come up with an amazing dish by using their taste and creativity. Using bread, fruits or raw vegetables would be ideal for a project like this.
- You can always use cooking as a chance for educating them – whether its math or science. Older children often enjoy the measuring aspect of baking.
- Got a child at home over 10 years old? They can do almost ANYTHING. Help get them excited about cooking by giving them their own apron or plastic knife. You never know they could grow into the next Michelin Chef!
Whatever you decide to whip up with your kids in the kitchen, just remember to make it fun! Cooking teaches a variety of life skills, including healthy eating habits, time management and allows kids to spend quality time at home.
Its about spending time together and creating memories, and that “food-time” is family time.