Millions of children in the U.S. learn to cook from a young age, and for good reason; cooking is fun! Children love helping their parents make dinner, and not only do they get better at cooking by doing so, but they also develop skills like math and problem-solving that will serve them well throughout life. It is important to get them the right clothing and equipment if you want them to do well and feel excited about what they are doing. The right clothing such as a bib apron and disposable chef hat, can help protect them from the dangers that a kitchen offers.
Learning to cook from a young age can truly hone a child's skills and prepare them for a future career, but it can also be one of the most challenging tasks for parents. Fortunately, there are a number of things parents can do to survive cooking with children. These include creating a hands-free workstation around the kitchen; setting clear boundaries and expectations for behaviour in the kitchen; being patient when teaching new techniques or recipes to your kids; and keeping it simple!
Other things you can do to survive cooking with kids.
• Make a list of all the ingredients you need before going shopping.
Shopping for ingredients can be fun, and a good way of teaching children about the different ingredients used in cooking. It can also be troublesome if they want to buy different things to what you want to buy. Hence preparing a list of ingredients before going shopping can help to avoid such problems arising. It also helps the child to know what ingredients specifically go into a certain dish, and what they should be looking out for in the supermarket, in addition to experience with handling money.
• Get your kids involved in the cooking process; have them set up their own stations and give them specific tasks to do, such as measuring out flour or stirring.
Children love to help out, especially when it comes to cooking. This makes them feel part of the family and proud that they are helping their parents in an adult task. Getting children involved in preparing the food can also encourage them to try out new ingredients and recipes, which they may not have been willing to do if left on their own. This will boost their cooking skills as well as broaden what they know about different types of foods. It is important however that this does not turn into a chore for the child, otherwise it will become frustrating rather than fun or exciting. The parent must ensure that tasks are age appropriate and give just enough challenge without being too difficult or boring for the child. In addition, you need to keep an eye on how much time each task takes so you don't find yourself under pressure from hunger pangs while waiting for dinner! To make things easier, parents could consider getting all the ingredients and utensils out and ready so that when your children ask what is for dinner, you can tell them straight away. If they see the ingredients laid out in front of them it will encourage them to get involved because they won't have to wait around wondering!
On the other hand, it could be good if parents spend time with their child preparing meals together as this way children learn about cooking safety and hygiene while also learning how to cook simple recipes. This means there are no arguments over who should chop up vegetables or stir risotto, because both jobs can be shared equally between parent and child. Remember as parents you may need some extra patience at times when teaching young cooks.
• Allow your children to be creative with what they make.
Cooking can be an interesting family activity that brings out a child's creative skills. Try making pizza from scratch instead of ordering it from a restaurant. It will give them an opportunity to learn about different ingredients and how cooking works.
• Have fun with cooking time by playing music, singing songs, or dancing while you cook together.
Singing songs or playing music can make any task easier, so it makes sense to implement this into cooking time. It will help your child enjoy the process a lot more and get them involved in what is going on around them! It will also reduce the parents' stress levels, and help you bond with your children.
• Try not to get frustrated if things don't go as planned.
Teach your kids how to take responsibility for mistakes and learn from them on how they can improve next time around. If you start getting frustrated with them, then it takes the fun out of cooking, and may prevent them from doing it ever again.
Cooking is a skill that can be used throughout life. It's never too early to start teaching your children the basics of cooking, and it will help them develop skills for later in life as well. Make sure that you have a lot of patience with kids, because they are not used to the work and may take time to learn the skills. Most importantly teach them about safety in the kitchen, and give them a nice uniform with a bib apron to protect them, which they will be proud to wear. A disposable chef hat similar to a Toque will especially make them feel like areal professional chef!