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How To Get Your Kids Involved In The Cooking

How To Get Your Kids Involved In The Cooking

How To Get Your Kids Involved In The Cooking
There are so many benefits that come with your children getting involved in the cooking. Sharing the joy of cooking with your little ones can be a very relaxing and holistic experience for everyone involved (even if the mess doubles when they are “helping”).
 
When your children are exposed to meal planning and food preparations they also learn a great deal about food which could really aid them in becoming healthy eaters. On top of this cooking is a valuable life-skill that will serve our children well in the future.
 
It isn’t always practical to let the kids muck in during cooking times. If it’s steak night you might want your children as far away as possible from the piping hot griddle pan for example.
 
 
It is a good idea to encourage them as often as possible to get involved in some way though. As you enjoy the meal as a family your children will take great pride in knowing that they were part of what made it all happen.
 
As your children get older you’ll thank yourself for harvesting and encouraging their interest in what happens in the kitchen. Before you know it you’ll be having dinner served up to you, and that could never be a bad thing!
 
Knowing where to start might seem a little bit daunting but these tips should help you to kick start things and get your children involved in the family cooking.
 
1. Pick up a step tool in IKEA so kids can work at counter-top level. It’s an inexpensive but really effective purchase.
 
2. Consider including some foodie items in their birthday/Christmas gifts. A chef’s apron or smaller oven gloves (even if they’re just for show) will send the message that the kids have a place and are welcome in the kitchen in this way.
 
3. Take the kids food shopping with you and talk about the ingredients you are buying. We know that food shopping is usually a case of military precision and avoiding the chocolate aisle but you might be surprised by how interested your children will be in the ingredients and what they are used for.
 
 
4. Let the kids have an input. While meal planning, ask them if there are any dishes they would like to include this week. Invite them to help you make this particular dish as it is one that they clearly enjoy.
 
5. Give them age-appropriate jobs so that they can explore and enjoy the task without having you stand over them in a panic.
 
6. Praise, praise, praise. It’s a sure fire way to encourage them to want to help again soon.
 
7. Make meal-prep fun by putting on some music and being goofy as you cook. The kids will associate this time as a positive one.
 
8. Be patient. They will do things at an agonisingly slow rate but we all have to start somewhere. The idea is to make this a pleasant and encouraging experience.
 
9. If time is the issue why not focus on the weekend cooking? You might be feeling more relaxed which will make things easier all around.
 
10. Listen and answer their questions. It might seem really obvious to you to add salt and pepper to a dish but explaining why will help the kids learn more about food and cooking processes.
 
Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.love.living.ie.