Have you began introducing your kids to cooking and engaging in kitchen chores? When a child learns how to cook, it mitigates the long-term health effects of eating an excessive amount of fast foods, which is often the next survival option when one does not know how to cook.
Here are 9 easy ways to introduce your sons and daughters to cooking and doing kitchen chores:
1. Everything Starts With A Conversation
You can start a conversation with your kids, asking them what they might want to eat, making some delicious suggestions, whether they would feel about helping mummy out in the kitchen, making the grocery list, and going to the grocery store together.
2. Watch Cooking Shows Together
Watching cooking shows like Master Chef Junior with them can be a great way to introduce your youngsters to the workings of a kitchen and the art of cooking.
They can get inspired to want to learn how to cook the food being made by fellow kids on the screen. It’s a fantastic way to arouse their curiosity and make the concept of cooking an exciting prospect for them.
3. Cooking Classes
Taking your kids to a cooking class will not only get kids excited about cooking but also teach them basic cooking techniques like chopping, peeling, mixing, etc. ahead of time. It will also boost their kitchen vocabulary and fine motor skills. In cooking classes, kids also get to eat what they make at the end so they have a true understanding of what it is they made.
4. Set Ground Rules
Before you adopt them into the “co-kitchen runners clan,” it is vital that you first cover the ground rules with them. Basic but important ground rules as:
- Pull back long hair, off the shoulders, or better still, wear a bonnet.
- Wash hands in warm, soapy water before and after handling food.
- Keep counter tops and work surfaces clean.
- Wait until food is cooked before tasting.
- No licking of fingers or putting of hands in their mouths, especially when working with raw foods such as cookie dough, raw meat or poultry.
- Avoid putting spoons back into food after using them for tasting, etc.
5. Pick Something Easy
By all means, stay away from dangerous preparation techniques such as deep-frying. Pick a delicious, kid-friendly, and relatively easy dish to prepare.
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Things like boiling rice or yam or even beans is a great way to start.
6, Give Age-specific Tasks
Depending on the age and developmental stage of your child, you can have them do the following kitchen chores :
- Wiping the counter
- Stirring or mixing batter
- Measuring ingredients
- Washing and plucking the vegetables from the stems – this is a great way of teaching them the names of vegetables and sparking an interest which will hopefully encourage them to try different foods
- Mashing with a fork or potato masher
- Greasing the pan
- Measuring cups of rice, beans, counting tubers of yams, counting seasonings
- Sprinkling – flour, cake decorations and icing sugar, put a tray underneath to avoid too much mess
- Washing dishes
- Helping you pass items e.g. salt, seasoning cubes, a spoon, etc. while you cook
- Making a sandwich
7. Make It Fun!
Cooking does not have to be too serious activity and your pupils will better appreciate fun and enthusiastic teacher.
So, some good music, pour everyone a glass (or plastic cup) of some refreshing fruit juice before you delve into start preparing the meal.
Be patient and go slow, allowing your little kitchen assistants to actually do some (or most) of the work.
In introducing kids to kitchen chores and cooking, you want to make it as fun and exciting as possible, else they won’t be interested in learning.
When breakfast, lunch, or dinner is finally finished the whole family will relish the time together, eating, relaxing and enjoying the dividends of their labour.
8. Set A Good Example Afterwards
Don’t forget to set a good example regarding the after-meal cleanup. Part of cooking is tidying up afterwards.
The kitchen should be left sparkling clean and kids make great cleanup partners.
Start teaching them this early enough, so that they see it as the norm.
Nobody likes a guest or a partner who leaves everywhere untidy, and does not dig in and help out when cleaning up is concerned.
9. Don’t Forget The Vote Of Thanks
Even if the job hasn’t been done as well as you might have hoped, don’t forget to thank your kids for the effort and a job well done.
The effort matters more than perfection or at this stage, excellence.
It is important to make them feel proud of their contribution, and know you appreciate them helping mummy out in the kitchen.
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