Cooking with one or several of your children is one of the most fun and rewarding activities you can do with them. Not only does it serve as a wholesome bonding activity between you and your children, it also has a practical utility in that it teaches them essential cooking skills they will need to leverage later on life, like when they need to entertain their dinner guests.
While feeding babies and toddlers can be stressful at the best of times, it’s even more difficult when the kids are older and even hungrier. When you’re parenting teenagers who at least have some idea of how to cook their own food, you’ll be thanking your past self for spending time with them in the kitchen when they were younger.
With all that said, let’s take a look at 3 useful tips for cooking with your kids.
1. Prioritise safety
Of course, you are probably already very concerned about the potential hazards your children may face in the kitchen and want to do everything you can to eliminate or minimise any risks to them. It’s a good idea to set out which appliances and utensils are totally off-limits, which kids can use with supervision and which they can be trusted to handle on their own.
For example, you would never give a 5-year-old a butcher’s cleaver, but you might supervise them using a potato peeler, or you might trust them to wash vegetables in the sink on their own. It’s all about using common sense and keeping the most dangerous and delicate tasks like knifework well out of the way of them.
2. Cook meals they actually love
Making food with kids in the kitchen goes a lot smoother when you’re all working towards a meal the kids really love. For example, if they go crazy for your mash potato then you can teach them how to make it or experiment and make something new like bacon stuffed potato skins or some honey glazed pork with mashed potatoes to keep everyone satisfied.
When the kids know that cooking with you is a way to speed up the delivery of their favourite meals, they’ll be more than happy to pitch in. This can be one of the best ways to ensure your kids understand that they can cook the meals they want to eat, rather than buy them pre-made from a supermarket freezer.
It is well-known that children absorb and utilise information better when they learn in the context of a game or challenge. When a child’s motivation is to impress an adult or earn a reward (such a star on a chart) they are more likely to actively listen and take on board the lessons you are teaching them.
This gives your children a sense of accomplishment and puts them in a mindset that’s focused on achieving, rather than just making do. This will undoubtedly also aid your child in their school life as they will understand the value of going above and beyond expectations.
There you have it, 3 simple tips you can utilise to make cooking with the kids easier, safer and more enjoyable for your little ones.