cook with your kids!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Getting children into the kitchen and teaching them to cook is an excellent way to help them appreciate the foods they are eating and teach them an important skill that will last a lifetime. Not only are they able to learn about food, but also be taught the ins and outs of the kitchen.

Hot stoves, sharp knives and scalding water are just some of the dangers in the kitchen. Little cooks are eager to roll up their sleeves and get cooking, but not able to handle a lot of the tasks. Here are some ingredients to make cooking with kids a tasty experience:

When you feel that your child is ready, get cooking! When you notice that your child is curious and showing some interest with meal preparations, it’s definitely time to work with them in the kitchen. If your child doesn’t show any interest but is 5+ years old, you may want to encourage their participation with a recipe.

Picky eaters turn into adventurous diners when they prepare their own meal! Pull out some cookbooks and take your little chef to the store with you. Including them in the entire process will get your child excited about the end result and typically that includes happily eating the dish they helped to make.

Today’s meal can also be part of today’s lesson plan. Cooking naturally integrates math and science and is a great way to talk to your tyke about numbers, fractions, sequencing and understanding how food changes while baking & cooking. Additionally, cooking also helps children with their fine motor skills and allows them to express their creativity!

Expect excitement and a mess. A lot of children will be super enthusiastic sous-chef’s, but keep a close eye on them at all times and know their physical limitations. I allow my four year old to peel vegetables (because he is pushing the peeler away from him), but I watch him the whole time and know that what will start out as a beautiful carrot, will end up a mangled orange twig (with plenty of peel on the floor).

• What do you do when the only tasks are “big people” jobs? Keep them busy and contributing by allowing them to set the table, make place cards and pick music to accompany the meal. Just being together during food preparation is a wonderful way to expose them to the joys of cooking!

Little kids are typically capable of:

Whisking eggs
Sifting dry ingredients
Kneading dough
Sprinkling cheese
Lining a muffin tin

Bigger kids are probably able to:

Crack open and whisk eggs
Measure & sift dry ingredients
Knead & shape dough
Line a muffin tin and fill the muffin cups with batter
Cut & grate vegetables
Ice a cake

want to get your kids in the kitchen? our e-cookbook has 56 yummy, healthy & quick recipes for kids & grown-ups! Amazon: Buy at Amazon Kindle [$3.99]

follow eco ike on facebook & twitter!  eco ike... raising eco kids to grow, live, eat & play green! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...