Top tips for cooking with kids
A lot of parents like to keep their kids away from the kitchen, because they are afraid that their little ones will accidentally cut themselves or put hands on a hot stove. However, allowing your children to assist you with cooking can strengthen the bond between you, help them express their creativity, develop fine motor and hand-eye coordination skills, cultivate a varied taste palette and provide many learning opportunities. If you are concerned that your little angels won’t enjoy cooking, don’t worry. Most little ones love to prepare meals since to them the kitchen is the playground and groceries are their new toys. After all, what kid doesn’t like to squeeze and roll things? If you want to ensure that cooking with your children will turn into a positive experience, here are several tips you should follow.
As a parent you surely know that everything takes longer when your kids are involved, whether it is packing, shopping, cleaning or cooking. Therefore, arm yourself with patience and don’t do this when you are in a hurry. Cooking with your kids should be a fun activity, and yelling at your little ones to hurry up won’t lead to good results. Therefore, engage your children in this activity on your day off, when everyone is relaxed and there is no need to rush.
Don’t forget to make things fun
If you simply relax and have fun with your kids in the kitchen, they will learn to love cooking and, who knows, maybe become professional chefs one day. Although preparing meals with your little ones can be stressful, do everything in your power to stay calm and keep things under control. Stick to basic recipes instead of complicated ones, invent some cooking games and let them do things at their own pace. If your children easily get bored, let them play with their toys while you prepare meals together. You can find great toys for boys and girls of all ages on Funtastic Toy, so choose something that is kitchen-friendly and can easily be washed.
Prepare for a mess
If you are one of those people who end up with a whole sink full of dirty dishes after making a bowl of cereal, you are in for a treat. Cooking with children is a messy business so be prepared to scrub the whole kitchen after you are done. In order to do some damage control, put a plastic tablecloth on the floor underneath their work station, so you won’t have to spend half an hour cleaning the tiles.
Planning is crucial
Just as you should pick a day when you will cook with your children, you should choose a meal you will prepare. Not all dishes all kid-friendly so pick an appropriate recipe that involves a lot of activities suitable for your little ones. In addition, make sure you have all the ingredients you need so you don’t have to run to the store at the last minute.
Prepare your kids
You don’t want to spend the whole Sunday trying to get stains out of their clothes, so before you start cooking put your little ones in shirts and pants you don’t mind getting dirty or give them aprons. Also, if some of your children have long hair, don’t forget to tie it back or otherwise you will probably find it on your plate later on. In addition, make sure they wash their hands beforehand and every time they touch raw foods.
Teach them something new
Kids are like little sponges, so use this opportunity to teach them a thing or two about the meal you are preparing, about the origin of the ingredients or cooking processes and techniques. Through weighing you can also teach them math as well as use stirring and rolling to improve their fine motor skills and coordination.
Cooking with your little ones can benefit them in multiple ways. Sure, there will be a mess and you will probably end up with food all over the kitchen and flour in your hair, but at the end of the day it will all be worth it.