Cooking With Your Kids
Cooking with your children is a great way to involve them in the process of decision-making and taking responsibility for themselves. Cooking also helps them develop a sense of accomplishment, practice language and math skills and gives them an opportunity to share their creations with others. As a bonus, children are more likely to eat foods they've prepared themselves, and they will be more willing to make their own snacks, meals and bag lunches when they have the skills to be successful at it.
- Plan Ahead – Choose a time when you will be relaxed and not distracted by other interruptions. Easier said than done, I know. Beginning cooks need lots of patience and time to learn by doing things for themselves. A relaxed pace will help you resist grabbing the utensils to do it yourself.
- Supervise – Have an adult nearby to help with sharp utensils, electric appliances and the stove.
- Prepare – Wear an apron or old clothes. Tie back long hair, roll up long sleeves and remove jewelry.
- Organize – Read the entire recipe and gather ingredients and utensils before you begin. If you put each ingredient away as you use it, it will be easy to tell what you have already put in if you get interrupted in the middle of the recipe.
- Safety First – Turn pot handles inward away from other burners so they don't overheat or get knocked off the stove. Never reach across burners or pots that are hot. Use potholders or oven mitts for handling hot utensils. Never use wet cloths, as steam will form and burn you. Be careful with electric cords. Use dry hands to unplug them and make sure they aren't lying across a stove burner or dangling onto the floor. Have a tray or rack handy to set items on for cooling. Double check that you have turned all appliances off when finished cooking.
With a little help and a lot of encouragement, your children will become confident cooks with the ability to prepare meals and make bag lunches on their own. Get cooking and have fun with your kids.