Cooking With Kids Made Easy – Some Essential Tips

Teaching your kids to cook can be a hugely rewarding task. Apart from acquiring a valuable every-day life skill, your kids also learn about the benefits of healthy eating and have a ton of fun playing around with different ingredients. You could also pass on some treasured family recipes to the next generation.

Here are a few helpful pointers to help you and your child get started on a wonderful culinary journey.

  • Assign a space: This is a good way to inculcate some good habits in your children right from the start. Assign a specific work surface for cooking and make sure that the height is appropriate for the child. Do not allow the child to balance on a chair to cook – this can lead to accidents.
  • Emphasize safety: If your child is very young, keep dangerous items such as igniters, knives, kitchen scissors, matches, and anything that has a sharp blade (food processors) out of reach when not in use. Have a small slip-free stepladder or stool handy for small children.
  • Get the best ingredients: Use fresh ingredients whenever possible. Vegetables and fruits taste best when in season. Let the kids tag along when you go shopping; whether it’s a supermarket or a farmer’s market, it’s sure to be an eye-opener for your kids.
  • Plan before you start: Involve your child every step of the way, right from picking the recipe to listing the ingredients. This is how your kids learn to think ahead, organize, and follow through. Instil a sense of control by allowing them to choose whenever possible.
  • Add variety: Introduce your child to a variety of ingredients and cuisines from all over the world. Give them a chance to experiment with different cooking methods such as baking, broiling, frying, and barbecuing. Keep the freezer and pantry well stocked with different kinds of fruits and vegetables.
  • Give them their own tools: If your young chef seems to enjoy cooking, you could give them their very own set of cooking tools with a designated storage space. The cooking kit should include a wooden spoon, a rubber spatula, an age-appropriate knife, kitchen scissors, a vegetable peeler, a small chopping board, and a pair of oven mitts.
  • Clean-up act: Cleaning up the work space afterwards should be an integral part of cooking a meal. Keep a mop and a broom accessible along with a few fun aprons. Aprons are a must; children are usually messy cooks and tend to spill a lot of stuff on their clothes. Aprons also keep unwanted elements like pet hairs from getting into the cooking.
  • Keep them hooked: It’s important that your kids not get bored. Keep food magazines, cookbooks, and nutritional guides handy and bookmark relevant websites for quick reference. Make a TV date with your child to watch Top Chef to spark their interest further.

Who knows, a few more years and it could be YOUR kid making a hit with Gail Simmons!

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