Kids in the Kitchen: Our top tips for cooking with kids
Posted by: Patrick Catanzariti on July 4, 2016
Whether it’s a rainy day batch of muffins, or helping out with dinner, here’s our top tips for making cooking with kids fun, easy and stressfree – for the kids and the adults too!
Take your time. It’s absolutely going to take longer than usual, so make sure you set aside plenty of time for cooking (and cleanup!). For kids, it’s often more about the journey – the process is (almost!) as good as getting to eat the finished product.
Choose your recipe. If you’re in a hurry to get dinner on the table, now might not be the time. Choose a family favourite the kids can help out with, or something easy like cookies that they can add their own toppings to.
Don’t wear your Sunday best. No matter how hard you try, when kids get into the kitchen it’s not going to be a neat and tidy experience! (And if we’re being honest, even us adults sometimes struggle to keep it clean!) Make sure everyone is wearing an apron, and clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. You could also put a plastic tablecloth down underneath the workspace.
Talk it over. Ask older children to read through the recipe before you start and get out ingredients and equipment. You can also plan together who will do what, or identify things that they might need help with. Younger children can read along as you add each ingredient.
Hands-on learning. Cooking is a great way to for kids to learn a whole lot of important skills, without even realising they’re doing it! Talk to them about food hygiene like washing hands before and after cooking, as well as about the ingredients you’re using and the processes behind cooking. Cooking is also a great way to learn about maths with all the measuring and weighing, science and how ingredients combine together and change as you cook them, as well as social skills like working out who is doing what task, or whose turn it is to lick the bowl!
It’s always more fun when you’re allowed to taste as you go! It’ll also encourage kids to become more adventurous eaters. Just make sure you teach them to use a clean spoon to taste, not fingers or the cooking spoon (until the end, that is!)
Stay calm and have fun! If you’re in a hurry, you’re more likely to stress or want to take over. Cooking together with your kids is a great way to build lasting memories for you and the little ones. You might not end up with a perfect finished product, but that’s not what matters anyway.