We all love the idea of cooking with kids although sometimes it can be a slightly daunting task! What to cook and how to minimise the mess are often high on the agenda, however it needn’t be stressful so we’ve put together some handy tips and advice to ensure your cooking time with the little ones is filled with fun!
Helping you’re the little ones learn to cook at an early age is both entertaining and educational and teaches them invaluable skills as they head off to university or to live on their own for the first time. Teaching your kids about the importance of food, where it comes from and the vast array of cuisines they can try from all over the globe is also a great part of learning to cook – you might also learn something new too!
Find the right recipe
First things first, when it comes to cooking with your children, make sure you find recipes that you know you’ll all enjoy. There’s nothing more stressful for you in the kitchen than trying to keep the kids entertained whilst you’re cooking a complicated recipe for the first time. Also try and choose a recipe with minimal mess and encourage them to help clean up as you go along so your kitchen doesn’t start to resemble their messy bedroom!
Homemade pizzas, biscuits, fairy cakes and pancakes are a great place to start and you’ll find that most of the ingredients are already in your kitchen cupboard. It’s also handy to have a family cookbook to hand as this helps to teach basic cooking skills as well as ideas for healthy family meals that everyone can get involved in.
Make the time
We’re all pushed for time with busy school and work schedules, and sometimes it can be easier to get on with the cooking without the children in tow! Most families say the main reason they don’t cook with the kids is because they don’t have the time – however we shouldn’t let this stop us.
The weekend is the perfect opportunity to spend time together in the kitchen. Get the little ones involved in messy meatballs on a Saturday evening or perfect pancakes for Sunday morning brunch. ,
And finally…be patient
Investing time in cooking with the kids will pay off in the long run, so remember to be patient and resist the temptation to take over and do it for them. You’ll be amazed at how quickly they will learn how to crack an egg, fold flour and roll pastry. They’ll be a mini Mary Berry in no time!
Cooking in the kitchen is suitable for children of all ages – we’ve put together some of the best skills you can teach them from toddlers through to older children.,
• Encourage your child to feel, taste and play with the ingredients, they can learn about colour too
• Teach them to stay away from hot surfaces
• Help them with washing their hands and tying their apron
Age 3 plus
• Kids can learn how to measure different ingredients e.g. teaspoons and tablespoons
• Get them to help with washing fruit and vegetables
• Help to clean and wash up to reduce the mess,
Age 4 plus
• Teach your child how to crack an egg
• Pour or spoon out ingredients
• Use handy tools to beat or whisk everything together
Age 6 plus
• Teach your child about safety in the kitchen, knife safety and other tools
• Help them with new techniques like rolling pastry
• Help with the washing up and even emptying the dishwasher!,So all that’s left to do is to get the kids in the kitchen. There’s no better way to learn about food than to actually get stuck in and do it for themselves – with a little help from Mum and Dad too!
Have you been cooking up a storm with the kids in the kitchen? Don’t forget to take some photos and share them with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tell us your favourite recipes too.