Inside: With schools removing valuable life skill classes like auto shop and Home Ec., the kids of the next generations will be without the tools they need to be functional adults. Cooking with kids can help give them one of those essential life skills.
This is a guest post by Alex Green. For more information about the author scroll down to the end of the post.
Kids imitate their parents. If their parents like to sit around and watch TV all day, they will see that it is a normal human function and follow suit. If you work with your hands or like to turn a wrench, it is likely your kid will develop an early appreciation for auto care or DIY projects.
But in many homes, parents still like to cook a family dinner as one staple, common meal of each day. Breakfast is often a hectic rush, and lunch is taken at work or school, but dinner is a chance to get the whole family in one place for a hot meal and good conversation. And kids who see this often also see what goes into making this evening respite.
In order to make your dinner special, you can involve kids in cooking, and some of the best kitchen gadgets will definitely help you during the process.
Cooking with Your Kids
Kids are often messy, and when you cook, there is always a job you hate doing because it is chaotic and gets your hands dirty, and that is the kid’s bread and butter. Give them a gross, gooey mess, and they are in heaven, and they not only enjoy the work, but they are also very thorough, which is the definition of a win-win.
Finding safe things for your kid to do will give them respect for the food prep. It will show that the cooking process isn’t hard if you have the time to do the assigned task and manage your expectations. It is relatively common that they will exceed whatever considerations you place on their skills in the kitchen.
Fun Meals for Happy Kids
These days there are cookbooks for everything, from Keto to Vegan to a cookbook of all the foods served on the HBO show “The Sopranos.” And kids have not been left out of this library of culinary recipes. Cooking with kids’ cookbooks can be very basic and a very entertaining way for them to be the chef, and you, the helper.
There isn’t anything that might hurt them, save the odd boiling water requirement, or the need to use the oven, which is not an issue if they are supervised. It is easy cooking with kids if you approach it at their level. And recipes for cooking with kids teach them fractions and laws of physics long before they would ever learn them in school.
Can it be frustrating at times? Their kids, so yes. Anything can be frustrating when kids are involved because they haven’t figured out how to express their feelings adequately. But it can also be a lot of fun cooking with kids because the wonder and joy they feel when what they make turns out perfectly and delicious is well worth it.
Getting Kids Interested in Cooking
Here are a few ways to jumpstart your kid’s curiosity in the kitchen.
1. Get Them Involved
From measuring to mixing, from pouring to decorating, they want your attention and your admiration. Give them a task that isn’t too difficult, then work up to more challenging options. If they want to get deep into something right away, let them try, but help them if they struggle.
2. Let Them Choose
Give them the option to pick their task as long as the list only involves safe jobs. If they want to chop with a kitchen knife, unless you have shown them proper kitchen cutlery safety and respect, keep these jobs off the list.
3. Let Them Plan the Meal
Give them a little more control over what the family will eat one night a week or for a weekend breakfast. They will pour over cookbooks for days to pick the right meal, and they will put in a terrific effort to get your approval. Plus, you have trained their palette, so you know it will be in your dietary design.
4. Show Them Other Options
Sure, kids love cakes and candies, brownies, and cookies, but they are still malleable to learn new ways to eat, and this is where healthy cooking with kids comes in. Teach them the value of more nutritious items and why they are essential, and then give them a meal they can put together that will not only be good but good for you.
5. Family Collaborations
Another fantastic option in cooking with kids’ ideas is letting them pitch in for large meals during the holidays. They have seen the adults make Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, so why not do some Thanksgiving cooking with kids? Then, when the table says they have gratitude for the meal, your kid will feel pride because they contributed.
When doing anything with kids, it is always important to remember that they are young. They will get frustrated, they will pout, they will celebrate mundane accomplishments, and they might be outstanding at what they are doing. As long as you remember that your little chef is still growing and learning how to respond to the world, all experiences are much easier to roll with, and that definitely applies in the kitchen.
Have you had any great experiences making meals with your kids?
We have fun recipes and hands on activities that you and your kids will love.
Check it out: bread in a bag (fun without the mess), green pancakes (with natural ingredients), the science behind chocolate (with Harry Potter chocolate frogs), the science of cookies, healthy dragon crackers, no fail angel cake that kids can make, 1-minute chocolate cake, and so much more!
Alex Green is a copywriter with 3 years of experience. He is fond of healthy living and knows everything about home improvement. In his spare time, Alex likes walking with his golden retriever, meeting with friends, and attending the gym.