Cooking with Kids
The holiday season is full of cooking, from the savory foods at Thanksgiving to the sweet treats at Christmas. While your kids are on Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, get them in the kitchen and teach them how to cook. Make sure you have plenty of time set aside to show them the ropes in the kitchen. Start off by telling your children which kitchen tools are off limits, like the stove, the oven and knives.
Sit your children down and let them help plan a meal. This will allow your children to learn the organizational process of planning a meal for the family. If they want mashed potatoes, let them check for the ingredients in the house. If you’re missing an ingredient, get them to start a grocery list of items they will need. Letting your children play a role in planning the meal will help them feel more in control of what they are eating.
When preparing the meal, go over each ingredient and tool you’re using. Show them what a whisk looks like and why you use it. As your children get older, teach them cooking terminology, like what it means to fold the blueberries into the muffin batter, and introduce new foods to your kids like spaghetti squash.
The age of your children will determine what task they will be able to do. Younger children can do simple tasks, like squeezing the lemons, helping wash the produce, using the rolling pin and doing a little stirring. Once your children get to elementary school age, they can start reading the recipe, counting out ingredients, measuring items and washing the produce. Middle school and high school kids will be a big help in the kitchen. They can crack eggs, bake a cake or cookies, and use a mixer. No matter how experienced or how old your children are, always supervise them in the kitchen.