Cooking can bring your kids a lot of fun and joy. But it can also teach them valuable lessons about responsibility and gratefulness. Once they see where their food is coming from and how much effort it is required to make the food, they will eat it with more excitement.
Cooking is also an activity that can bring you closer to your kids and add a bit of extra time spent together.
Here are some tips on how to include your child, no matter their age, into your meal prep.
Get them used to the tools
Of course, your kids are not going to be instant chefs, and they will need a lot of assistance with even holding the tool, so getting them used to them is the first step into their culinary journey.
You can find some fantastic cooking toys at borncute.com. Your kids will love them! It will get them even more excited to start experimenting with the real tools.
Start by explaining to them how to hold the spoons, and other utensils, and make sure to include the talk about why listening to your instructions is essential.
Give them the plastic knives and some tasks that do not require too much chopping; that way, you will decrease the risk of injury by a million.
Give them tasks that are suitable for their age
There are some tasks that your 3-year-old cannot do, but your 5year-old can. This is all normal because they have different strengths, different motor skills, and different cognitive abilities. Divide the task according to their age.
For example, if you have a child that is under three and they are already showing a lot of interest in helping you around the kitchen, there actually some activities that they can do!
Firstly, ensure that everything dangerous is out of their sight, and then assign them to some simple chores, such as washing the fresh ingredients, which is a great way to teach them the names of all the ingredients. They can also stir them while they are cooking, or, children’s favorite ever activity: sprinkle the flour. Even if you give them just a pinch of it, somehow, they will find a way to spread the flour all over your kitchen floor.
If you have a five-your-old, they will be able to help you with much more, apart from washing the ingredients and mixing them. They can measure your ingredients, thus learning how to measure, they can even cut some really soft ingredients like mushrooms. Or they can even roll and shape the dough. They will be so excited to do it!
Take their opinions into consideration
One way to show them that you really care about what they have to say is to listen to them carefully and take into account their opinions and choices. For example, asking them what they would like to cook and eat will let them know that they are entitled to an opinion. If they say that they do not like some ingredient then do not include it in your recipe. Children change their tastes frequently, so they may end up liking something that they could not stand three months ago. Empower your kids by believing in their judgment, not only will it be more enjoyable to them, but it will be gratifying for you because once they see that you respect them, they will return the respect.
Do not forget to be loose and have fun. Following the recipe to the tee may be something that you usually do, but leave some space for your children’s creativity. Nurture their interest in the food, and where it comes from, it will be of much help to them in the future.