Teaching Kids How To Enjoy Cooking Meals
My son who is only six years old, loves being in the kitchen. My eldest, not so much. But my youngest is actually excited about learning simple dish preparations, and finds it quite entertaining.
After preparing a meal, he gets so excited when he tells his brother or dad that he did it.
So what do I do as a mom when my kids show interest in something? I allow them to explore it, to learn more about it and to understand the process it takes to make these delicious meals for the family.
Are your kids also excited about preparing meals with you? Do you have any meal ideas that you can share? Please feel free to add to my list, or ask your questions or concerns in our FORUM section. I would be happy to help you!
"Allow your kids the opportunity to learn how to prepare simple meals so that they can also help out at home. "
START WITH SIMPLE MEALS
Start simple and allow your child to first get familiar with the different ingredients that it takes to make meals. Introduce them to the seasonings, produce, vegetables, meat, fish or seafood that is needed to make healthy balanced meals for the entire family.
Notice that when you show them what it takes to prepare the meals, you're also helping them to develop habits that will not only move into adolescent, but even to adulthood as you're also going to use this opportunity to educate them about making healthy food choices from the beginning.
Simple meal preparations consists of items, such as scramble eggs with cheese, oatmeal, macaroni and cheese and other simple pasta or rice dishes.
When they start with these simple dishes first, they are developing the confidence that they need to even help with more complex dishes later on.
Also during this time as well, you want to teach your kids about kitchen safety.
This is very important because you're allowing them to understand the dangers involved with playing with a stove, touching hot items or using sharp kitchen tools.
This is crucial because it also allows them to be aware of their surroundings and to also be cautious, should they enter the kitchen without you being present.
MAKE IT FUN
To get the kids interested in cooking, sometimes you may have to make it fun.
I have one kid who is "over the moon" with wanting to cook every single time I enter the kitchen, while for the other, it will take some convincing. They are complete opposites here. So to get the eldest involved, I may do things a bit different.
For example, I may use cookie cutters to cut veggies out, or even when making sandwiches. I may also allow them to make fun recipes like nana pizza or "gooey" eggs with really stretchy mozzarella cheese.
Be as creative as you can and think of any ideas that would appeal to the age group of your kids.
TEACH SIMPLE COOKING TECHNIQUES
Listen up! This is important. I have met a few persons in my life that never knew how to cook. I must say, the reason why I love cooking is because my mother made it a priority to teach us as kids how to cook.
Fast forward to the college days, I found myself teaching others how to do the same. They did not even know the basics of cooking.
So I think to myself. What if my kids get to college and should they have to prepare their meals, will they have me on speed dial or would they be joining the "cup noodle" crew (my hubby was one lol)?
So to not have to think about this concern, that I know for sure many of us as moms will do once those kids leave the nest, I teach them simple cooking techniques. It's definitely beneficial!
For example, how to boil water in a pot, how to put things in the oven to bake, how to use a frying pan to make things like eggs or how to cook simple dishes such as white rice.
So start with the basics of cooking and then as they grow older and become more comfortable with cooking, they can start making more complex dishes.
ALLOW THEM TO BE CREATIVE
If you haven't already realized it, cooking is actually a form of art. Many recipes were birth from people being creative in preparing meals. As such its also important to allow kids to be creative when they too prepare their meals.
Not only are you helping them to get familiar with cooking but you are also helping them to develop their creative outlets as well.
So let them have fun and use their imagination to make their dishes.
Maybe for example you can allow them to add a little food coloring to the cookies batter they are baking or use cookie cutters to create fun shapes in fruits and vegetables, or even add chocolate sprinkles to oatmeal for instance.
Also allow them to express themselves freely (I know it can get messy, but it's worth it) and watch as they grow to become more creative chefs in the future.
I admire my mom for allowing me the opportunity to do that from a young age. Now I love being creative with my dishes and also trying new things from all over the world.
ATTEND COOKING SHOWS OR EVENTS
My kids love attending cooking classes, where they can have fun and learn ways to prepare simple meals at home.
These classes for kids can be found online and may range from paid to even free events.
The free event we were able to attend was held at our local Children's Board.
They spoke about the different food groups and how to plan basic balanced meals as kids. Then they allowed them to make simple meals by themselves with cooking tools that helped them to prepare their meals.
I also know that there are many places that host kids cooking classes that you can find on sites like Groupon at a discounted price.
This is therefore a great opportunity to get your kids even more excited about cooking and creating meals that sparks creativity and fun.
Overall, I do hope that this information was helpful and that you have found ways to get your kids excited about cooking. It will not only be beneficial for them in the short term but for a lifetime as well.
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