I love having my kids cooking with me in the kitchen but sometimes I can go a little crazy. Balancing supervising them and actually getting the cooking done can get a little tricky. Here are some tips to help you cook with your kids without going crazy:
Starting out with a positive attitude is incredibly important, as is being okay with relinquishing a little control in the kitchen. Take a deep breath and remind yourself about how rewarding a session in the kitchen is for the kids. With that being said, if there are certain ingredients or equipment that you’d prefer for your children NOT to be exposed to, then place them well out of reach for peace of mind.
Once everyone’s hands are washed it’s onto discussing some important rules to ensure a safe and fun cooking session. Depending on their age this could include steering clear of hot surfaces, sharp knives and other potentially harmful equipment.
Involve the kids in everything from recipe selection to searching the pantry/fridge for the ingredients to the actual “cooking” tasks of measuring, mixing and more.
Assign Them Tasks
By assigning the kids their own tasks it helps give them confidence and shows that you trust them. (Click here for 20 Cooking With Kids Activity Ideas) Tasks could include simple washing of fruit/veggies or mixing or chopping ingredients or you could give them a few mini cookie cutters along with pieces of fruit/vegetables and let them get busy cutting shapes. This kind of task is perfect if you need to get on with “serious” cooking without little hands getting involved, yet keep them close enough to supervise. (where to find mini cookie cutters)
Be warned though, even with the best preparation and tips – the kitchen is likely to be a bit disheveled once the kids are done! That’s where it’s important to teach them to clean up after themselves.
End With Praise
I always like to end each cooking session thanking and complimenting the kids on their hard work. They feel proud of themselves and are usually eager to get their hands onto their cooking creations.
Most important of all – cooking with kids should be an enjoyable experience for all. Mess can always be cleaned up but shared moments together in the kitchen become memories for a lifetime…
This video from Jamie Oliver’s YouTube Channel will give you a little extra inspiration:
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