Most kids are interested in learning some basic cooking skills. Parents can help encourage this interest by taking the time to cook with their kids on a regular basis. Cooking with kids does require a little bit of extra time and patience but it can be an enjoyable experience for everyone and a way to create wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.
Cooking is a valuable life skill that helps kids to develop their independence. Preparing even one meal a week with your child will give them a valuable gift that will serve them well for the rest of their life.
When cooking with kids it is important to start with a recipe that does not require extensive preparation. Something simple such as scrambled eggs or cinnamon toast provides an immediate result and a high success rate, which is important for building confidence in kids. Even the most basic recipes teach some important cooking skills that can be used later on to create more elaborate dishes.
Take your Time
Cooking with kids is more about the process and less about the end result. Let kids experiment with different cooking tools as they prepare a meal. Take the time to teach them the correct way to perform basic cooking skills such as peeling vegetables and using a knife. The main goal is to spend time together and help kids to learn to enjoy cooking. As kids master basic cooking skills the process will go faster and they will be able to help prepare some of their favorite recipes.
Provide a Usable Workspace
Kids may be more comfortable preparing meals while sitting at the kitchen table or standing on a stool. Their workspace, whether that is a table or the kitchen counter, should be about elbow height. Standing on a stool can help kids be more comfortable working at the counter but be sure they are using a stable stool that is large enough for them to stand securely.
Make it Fun
Cooking should be an enjoyable experience. You are spending quality time with a child you love and teaching them a valuable skill in the process. Do not stress if things do not go exactly the way you would like them to. Try not to emphasize mistakes. Most mistakes in cooking can be turned into something delicious. Cook with your kids when you know you will not be pressed for time or preoccupied by another responsibility. Be able to give your kids your undivided attention while you are cooking and focus on enjoying the time you have together.