Top 5 Tips for Cooking With KidsPosted: July 19, 2012
Cooking with kids can be an incredibly fulfilling bonding experience. It can open their horizons to new foods and cultures, help them improve their reading and math skills, and instill in them a sense of healthy eating and living that will last a lifetime! Before you begin planning your next kid-friendly cooking experience, keep in mind Playtime Recipe’s top tips for cooking with kids:
1. Get Creative
Let kids brainstorm ideas of fun things to cook. Encourage them to think outside the box, blending the sweet with the savory, traditional dishes with exotic items. While you may not be ready to give them this kind of freedom with how they dress, cooking is a great way to let creative juices flow. Besides, the only consequence is fun!
2. Gather your Tools
Smaller children may need safe, plastic utensils as substitutes for knives or other potentially dangerous cookware. When cooking with kids, anticipate which tasks called for in your chosen recipe might be too advanced, or require modification. Explain to your kids which tools they may use, and which are for grown-ups only. A similar talk is recommended if you’ll be using the oven or burners during your cooking creation.
3. Pick a Theme
Depending on what your kids came up with during Step 1, your recipe could be a window into cultural awareness! Have kids choose a country or different part of the world, and choose foods and ingredients from there. Help kids understand what a typical meal in another country might look and taste like. This opens their minds and gets them thinking globally. Who knows? If your kids like cooking Thai, Vietnamese or Ethiopian fare, you might just have a little gourmet on your hands!
4. Make the Kitchen your Interactive Classroom
Cooking with kids provides tons of opportunities for learning. In addition to the creative opportunities they have when choosing a dish to prepare, kids can practice language skills by reading recipe directions aloud. They can also turn measurements into math problems. Put kids in charge of measuring ingredient amounts and making sure the recipe is getting exactly what it called for. For an extra challenge, try doubling the recipe Have your kids figure out how doing so would change the ingredient amounts.
5. Make Cleaning up Fun
While a mess might be inevitable when cooking with kids, getting stuck cleaning up yourself is not! Include kids in every step of the process, from planning the meal to finishing the dishes after all is said and done. An added benefit of this is that it helps kids associate cleaning up as an integral part of a fun activity like cooking.