Cooking and baking can demand enough of your attention as it is. Stir kids into the pot, and it’s just downright stressful. And yet, kids are eager to help out in the kitchen and there are some pretty compelling reasons to let them. Learning to cook is an important life skill not only for adulthood but for health purposes as well. With these benefits in mind, don’t let the potential stress of cooking with kids burn your toast. Instead, read up on these 10 tips that will make cooking with kids fun again.
1. Little Chef Cooking Station
Before even starting, set up an isolated cooking station away from hot stove tops and other appliances. Little Chefs can be mixing and stirring without the dangers of burning or other hazards.
2. Small Jobs For Small Hands
When introducing Little Chef to cooking and baking, start by giving small jobs for those small hands. Think of basic tasks, such as rinsing or stirring, that won’t ruin your meal if they aren’t done perfectly.
3. Allow For Extra Time
Cooking with Little Chef will probably take longer than you’re used to on your own. Take the pressure out of the cooker and off your shoulders by simply planning ahead to allow for extra cooking time.
4. Menu Making
Have Little Chef help create the meal’s menu by letting him explore cookbooks and websites for recipes. The more invested he is in the meal, the more likely he’ll or she will be to eat it.
5. Discuss Clean Up Before Cooking
Prepare Little Chef for clean up by discussing this step of cooking BEFORE you even start. With just a little bit of warning, kids are much more willing to do their part. Tears over spilt milk avoided!
6. Cook With An Expert
Know which side your bread is buttered by inviting a cooking expert to help you and Little Chef. More experienced hands, such as Grandma, a friend, or a neighbor will be glad to share their knowledge and you’ll be able to relax and learn right along side with Little Chef!
7. Cooking Classes
Another fun and stress-free way to learn to cook together is by enrolling in family cooking classes. Little Chef will be excited to participate, you will learn new tricks as well, and you don’t have to worry about the mess and clean up afterwards. You get have your cake and eat it too!
Children thrive with compliments and praise. They will continue whatever action it is that grants them positive recognition from adults. Help Little Chef have an uplifting and fun experience in the kitchen by providing her with positive feedback. Remember especially to have realistic expectations.
9. Not For Everyone
Just as with any skill or hobby, cooking is not everyone’s cup of tea. Accept that not every Little Chef is going to like cooking. Instead, have her help in other ways such as by folding napkins or choosing which dinnerware to use. If you keep the situation from being negative, children will stay open-minded to developing cooking skills later on.
10. Prepare Ingredients Beforehand
For Little Chefs who are still too young to help with measuring and cutting, have ingredients pre-measured before starting. Little Chef still feels important by helping but without all the spills and mess!