A kitchen is an interesting place for your kids in your house aside from their playroom because it is where they are being intrigued about how delicious things are done. Even though it is not always convenient to have them in your kitchen, it is still good to spend time with them cooking your favorite dish once in a while. Depending on your kid’s capabilities, they can just watch you cook or they can participate in simple tasks. In this article, we’ll further explain what’s the real essence of cooking with the kids.
Your kids will learn a lot during your cooking sessions such as different math concepts like measuring and counting, general knowledge about color names of fruits and vegetables and most of all full development of their motor skills and their senses. Through cooking, their imaginative skills are also developed. In this article, we’ll explain the beneficial effects of letting your kids enjoy the value of cooking.
How to make cooking with the kids worthwhile?
1. Choose the right time
It is best to choose the time for your cooking session when both of you are not on a tight schedule. Your kids would enjoy cooking if you are in a hurry, especially if you want them to participate. Schedule it on weekends when you don’t have and they don’t have a class. You may also check the mood of your kid, it can’t be avoided that their temper is uncontrolled if you let them join you cook, there is a possibility they will not enjoy the task and will just make tantrums, the better their mood is, the more likely that they will interact.
2. Choose the appropriate task
You need to plan ahead about what kind of dish you and your kids will prepare. Choose a dish that will let them have participation like pizza-making where they can do the toppings. For younger kids, they can just watch you but teach them about the names of vegetables or ingredients that you will be using. If you know that the ur kids already follow instructions, you can give them a more challenging task.
3. Ensure their safety
You need full supervision when your kids are in the kitchen because there are utensils that may be dangerous such as knives, scissors, fork, etc. Before and during the cooking session, you may need to constantly remind them about the things that cannot touch that might hurt them. You can also teach them about proper hygiene before cooking such as washing hands.
4. Do not be too strict about cleanliness
It can’t be avoided that your kids will create a mess, even adults have trouble with that. Just allow your kids to enjoy especially if you have given them a task. Slowly, you can incorporate to teach them how to do the task without a mess. You can also show them how you clean the mess so that next time, you can tell them to clean their mess as well.
5. Always compliment your kids for a job well done
You may perceive that the task you gave them is simple but for them, it is already complicated. They will surely look forward to your next cooking session if you will make them feel that they are doing the right thing. Their confidence will be boosted the next time you will ask them to join you for cooking.
6. Ask for their ideas
You kids will feel a sense of responsibility if they were the ones who suggested a meal to be accomplished. You can also include them in your grocery shopping and let them do simple tasks that they can do. If they like the meal that they will be preparing, there is a possibility that their full attention during the cooking session will be yours.
Why is it important to teach them how to cook?
- They learn the basic do’s and don’ts in the kitchen for them to be familiarized.
- Cooking is a good bonding where you can spend time with your kids, While letting them participate in your cooking sessions, you can also teach them how other things such as numbers, colors, and naming of different food ingredients making it more educational.
- Your kids will learn to be more independent and confident in doing a task.
- It is a perfect time for you to teach your kids to eat healthy foods.
- It is a way for you to teach your kids how to follow a step by step instructions.
Different age groups and the kind of tasks given to them
A. ages 3-5
This is the age where your kids are full of curiosity, energy, and excitement to try out a new task especially in the kitchen where they are usually restricted. You need to arrive at them full supervision so that they don’t put their attention to dangerous things. In this stage, their motor skills are what you are aiming to develop so your focal focus is in there.
They can do simple things such as smashing, tearing, and grabbing. You can also teach them to wash fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients. These tasks will make their hand-eye precise and it will surely keep them busy.
B. ages 5-7
At this stage, their fine motor skills, as well as their hand-eye coordination, may be honed. Since they are now starting in school, you can ask them to read the ingredients and recipes in cookbooks. You can now introduce a safe knife for cutting soft ingredients. Some tasks that you can introduce them are measuring and counting items, cracking eggs, and setting the table. These tasks are a bit complicated that will let them enjoy especially if they have done it correctly.
C. ages 8-12
At this stage, they don’t need much supervision tasks to use they can now follow instructions. You can teach now teach them to bake in an oven or cook in a stove. Some of the tasks that they would usually do are making their own sandwich, peeling fruits and vegetables, toasting bread, and making a simple batter mix.