For anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis, you will know I am a big fan of spending time in the kitchen with my children. I believe it is so important to instill in them basic cooking skills, to bake with them, to teach them that they don’t need to reach for convenience when they can produce something much nicer, and with some nutritional benefit, themselves.
It an be trying, I know that, letting kids loose in the kitchen, so I have compiled some top tips for you, to get those kids into the kitchen.
There is no point in even contemplating cooking or baking with children, particularly younger children if you are not in form for it. It’s imperative that you relax and simply go with the flow. It’s going to be messy, it’s going to test patience however the more you get into the kitchen with your children the easier it will become and it will be great fun and extremely rewarding.
Take Your Time
That bread it takes you 5 minutes to throw together is most likely going to take 20 minutes! No matter what you decide to cook up with your children it will take longer than usual. For children the experience is much more exciting than the end result.
Pick a suitable recipe. Older children might like to try their hand at a savoury dish for the family to enjoy whereas for younger children cookies or small cakes might be a better option.
Have ingredients laid out. Children don’t like to be kept waiting. When I am baking with my younger children who are 3 & 4 years old, I measure out the ingredients in advance into small bowls so all they have to do is add them to the big bowl. My older children are able to weigh out the ingredients themselves.
Hygiene is Important
Insist on aprons!! Baking can be a messy business. Make sure hands are washed and long hair is tied back or hidden under a little chefs hat (very cute). Insist on hand washing between tasks, in particular if you are cooking with raw meat.
Praise & Encourage
Two very important words that go hand in hand when cooking or baking with your children. Praise their efforts and that in itself should encourage them to want to have fun in the kitchen with you again.
Make this a fun experience and your children will pick up some invaluable life skills. They will learn that the kitchen needn’t instill fear but instead be a most fun and relaxing environment.