Kids In The Kitchen

Cooking with Kids

Are you looking for a weekend activity when it’s cold and rainy outside? Well why not spend some quality time with your children cooking up a storm in the kitchen!

Teaching children to cook, is not only lots of fun but it’s one of the most rewarding experiences you can have.  Cooking is a lifelong skill and giving children the hands-on experience is invaluable to learn.  Please remember it doesn’t matter if the recipe doesn’t go to plan or there are kitchen disasters along the way, it's this engaging and bonding time together, that will be specially remembered! 

So let’s GET mixing, blending, cooking and baking!  Here are some of my top tips to share along the way of your cooking journey together, starting with number one rule - be safety savvy first, finishing with lots of fun!

1.    Keep them clean and safe

Always start with a clean kitchen. By doing this, it encourages them to be tidy too! By the end of it, you will probably find the kitchen won’t be the way you started but think of the fun you have had along the way!  Ensure you look around your kitchen and check that power chords are not left within reach and the stove is turned off, remember the dangers of boiling liquids (turn your handles into the centre of the stove) and knives (we’ll get to that later) but please always remember rule number one: safety first!

2. Teach them healthy hygiene  

Healthy hygiene is a good habit to teach them from an early age plus it’s super important in the kitchen and especially when handling food to always have washed their hands. Please ensure they wash their hand in between touching raw and cooked foods.  Also, good hand washing reduces the risk or stops the spread of illness.

3. Make a plan and plan some more

 The aim is to keep them focused.  Have your ingredients and equipment ready to go, as younger children sometimes aren’t blessed with lots of patience.

4. Pick the right recipes for the age of your child

Being over-ambitious in your recipe choice can result in disappointment, so talk about the recipe with your child. To help them, read out the steps beforehand. and it's a good idea to show them a picture of the recipe and this will help them understand the end result. 

5. Teach them about knives

The use of  knives must be handle with caution and supervision. Plastic disposable knives are a great way to start to learn how to handle a knife. The older your child, the easier it is to teach them how to handle knives correctly under your supervision.   My oldest child (11 years) helps each night preparing carrots sticks for the school lunchboxes for the following day. 

6.  Use it as a learning opportunity

As you are cooking, talk about the different ingredients, the different cooking processes and techniques. Cooking is an excellent way to learn about science, maths and even geography. Cooking can be very good for fine-tuning their motor skills and coordination.  Teach them how different fruits and vegetable are grown in different seasons and it’s also best to buy in season if possible.  

7. Don’t leave them alone

Don’t leave young children unsupervised in the kitchen.  With knives, appliances and heat sources in the kitchen, adult supervision is a must for any cooking activity with kids.

8. Touching and tasting

Teach them which foods are safe to eat raw and which foods are not! As I mentioned earlier, cooking can be a geography lesson. It teaches them different foods originate from all different parts of the globe. By trying different foods, it’s a good way of developing their tastes. For example, now I have introduced my children to Sushi and they just love it!

9. Teach them about dangers in the kitchen.

Set aside time to teach them about the various dangers in the kitchen, everything from oven to the stove, hot liquids, knives but if you set the boundaries early, it will save a lot of stress. The ages of your children will influences which kitchen activities they can handle. Assess your child’s age and maturity level to determine which kitchen duties are suitable. 

10. Make it fun!  

Most kids love to cook, it’s time to be messy and creative! The experience of cooking with your children is super special time. To this day, I still make recipes which my mother taught me and these recipes have been handed through the several generations in my family.

Cooking with Kids can be extremely rewarding and wonderfully fun!

Please take a look at what the 4 Ingredients kid’s got up to recently in my kitchen with recipes from 4 Ingredients Kids in Colour .

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