Cooking with children is a mutually beneficial thing to do. Teaching our children how to prepare food they’re going to eat helps them feel in control and gives them a sense of achievement. Helping the family is something I try to encourage and obviously there are different ages and stages that are appropriate for them to contribute. Here are our top 5 ways to encourage your child to enjoy cooking.
1. Make it fun
One of our newest finds online is culinaryschools.org where you will find a whole host of games for young children through to adults. The ad-free games are perfect for children to learn through educational play. My youngest is enjoying the Ice Cream Cone Making Game, each time she completes a level she earns a new flavour of ice cream. Each flavour added then makes the customer’s order more complicated. My 9-year-old is playing the Cake Design Game which requires some fast-paced choices to keep the customer happy.
2. Get help with the prep
My children love to help with the food preparation. Some of the easiest ways to get them involved are by cutting the stalk off the broccoli and allowing your child to break it into smaller pieces ready for cooking. Get them a safety knife and encourage them to chop food into smaller pieces for you – depending on the age of your child you may need to start the process off so they’re cutting smaller pieces that don’t require so much strength.
3. Play with pasta
Get your child involved in deciding how much dried pasta you need for your meal. With clean hands allow them to put the dried pasta onto each plate so you can see how much is needed to go into the pan. This can also be linked to counting for younger children or weighing for older ones.
4. Get inspired
There are lots of cooking shows aimed at children which would be worth looking at. Perhaps watching The Great British Bake Off children’s competition would inspire your budding chef. Jamie Oliver’s son, Buddy, does a little cookery show too which is suitable for all ages.
Obviously baking is fun for children as often the finished product is something sweet. I would be mindful of trying to encourage your children to think about how we need to eat a balanced diet but, that aside, it is a really easy and fun way to let your children get involved in baking. A crumble topping is super easy, or some simple cookies. Make sure you get your child to crack eggs into a separate bowl, not the mixing bowl with the other ingredients in, just in case shell gets in there too. I’m speaking from experience!
Well I don’t know about you, but writing this post has made me want to do some cooking. Now I just need to choose what to do! Happy cooking….