Dan from Primrose Schools contacted me asking to post a rather interesting and informative post about cooking with kids! I personally think it’s really important for kids to cook with parents, as it’s a time for them to learn and to bond! I know I certainly wouldn’t know half of the recipes or cooking techniques I know without learning them from my parents!
Anyway, here’s the article. Leave me a comment and let me know how you liked it, or if you cooked with your parents/kids, what you learned or what your kids have learned!
A Recipe for Fun: Cooking With Your Child
Modern day cooking can be fun, addictive and even better; an easy way to teach meaningful lessons to children. At times the amount of time we spend in the kitchen as parents can take away from the time we spend with our children. This does not have to be the case. Instead, you can utilize the time you spend in the kitchen cooking or baking by engaging your child. This is not only a great way to spend quality time together, but you can also teach your child healthy habits and valuable skills that will last them through out their life.
Primrose Schools, uses innovative ways such as cooking to help keep children’s minds engaged to help continue their early childhood education. Dr. Mary Zurn, Vice President of Education, says “kitchen time can be a great way for families to regain some lost, but valuable, family time.” This valuable family time should be fun, safe and can easily be disguised as a learning activity without your child even knowing it. By exposing your child early on to healthy eating habits it will become routine for them. Also, it is more likely that your child will continue to eat healthy through their adult years.
Here are four simple guidelines Primrose offers for you and your youngster to following when cooking in the kitchen:
Engage your child meaningfully. Think of independent tasks your children can accomplish themselves. To involve young children – give them some pots, pans and wooden spoons so they can pretend to cook with you or use them for music making. Don’t worry, the loud noises that seem unbearable at first will soon turn into music to your ears knowing your young child is playing happily by your side. For older children, simple jobs such as mixing batter, rolling dough and pouring measurements are safe, simple tasks for them to accomplish.
Set some ground rules. An important rule to teach your child to always follow is to wash your hands before and after handling food. This will help germs from spreading. Discuss on a regular basis what’s safe to touch and what’s not. Supervision in the kitchen is a must when children are around. Make sure you create a list of ground rules and go over them with your child before starting any activity in the kitchen.
Tip: make sure the handles of pots and pans on the stove are turned in so no one bumps them or runs into them spilling hot goods or boiling water.
Build up skills step-by-step. Essential skills can be learned within the kitchen without children even knowing they are learning. For example, hand eye coordination can be practiced easily. Teaching older children to use a knife is a good way to do this. Start them off with a dull spreader cutting softer item like cooked noodles or cheese. Once they have mastered this, move them up to a butter knife cutting more dense items like strawberries and cucumbers. For any task, make sure to start your child off at an easy level. This will give them the confidence they need when performing harder tasks.
Keep it fun. Let’s face it, there is no way to avoid the “oops” from happening in the kitchen, but there is no need to stress if a mess is made. If an egg ends up on the ground instead of the bowl, don’t get mad, clean it up and let your child try again. (And make sure you have a lot of eggs!) Learning to clean up is just as important as making the mess!