Want to save your sanity? Have your kids start helping you in the kitchen. My 4-year-old loves helping me in the kitchen, when we’re baking, she’s the first one to volunteer and loves adding the ingredients and mixing. She also loves to add the mixture to the baking dish or muffin tin, with help of course.
I figure that this is our time to hang out while teaching her some life skills at the same time. If she loves cooking from a young age, perhaps she’ll go on to become a chef and cook for me instead, wouldn’t that be awesome?
Learn life skills in the kitchen
Peel and chop fruit and vegetables
My 8 year can handle the vegetable peeler and peel carrots and cucumbers if I need them. My daughter loves to watch and can’t wait to try it, she’s content making her own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for now. I’m getting her a wavy knife so she can learn to chop veggies as well, with supervision of course.
Start with breakfast
My oldest can make his own eggs and he’s responsible for his own lunch when we’re all home. He doesn’t always want to eat what the littles are having so he’s welcome to prepare his own meals. It almost always involves eggs. He’s been in a huge egg craving mood this past month. He’ll have it scrambled or fry it up in a sandwich. As long as the kitchen is cleaned up afterward, I don’t care what he has as long as he eats it all.
If you have kids that are not interested in cooking, make a dessert and see how fast they come to your side to help you. Get them excited, have them follow the recipe and grab the ingredients. My boys can measure everything out on their own. I’ve lost my 1 cup measuring cup so we had to use the 1/2 cup instead. Turn it into some math problems. If I need 3 cups of flour, how many of these 1/2 cups do we need to use?
Make them responsible for a meal
Our rule is that if you didn’t cook it, you can’t complain. My boys will voice their dislike over what I make but it includes healthy vegetables and stuff they wish they didn’t have to eat. Well, make your child responsible for a meal and then they can choose what to make. My son does our pizza nights, cooks the fries and gets the veggies already.
Is it easy? Yes, but he’s taking responsibility. Has he burned stuff? Yes, but now he pays more attention to what he is doing while he’s in the kitchen because burnt fries are not good.
Get them a cookbook
Get them excited about cooking and creating in the kitchen and you’ll see that they’ll want to experiment and try new things. I love it and encourage it any chance I get. It will be messy and not everything will turn out the best but they’ll learn from it.
Kid Chef Bakes: The Kids Cookbook for Aspiring BakersKid Chef: The Foodie Kids Cookbook: Healthy Recipes and Culinary Skills for the New Cook in the KitchenGood Housekeeping Kids Cook!: 100+ Super-Easy, Delicious Recipes (Volume 1) (Good Housekeeping Kids Cookbooks)The Ultimate Kids’ Cookbook: Fun One-Pot Recipes Your Whole Family Will Love!
Let them use their own tools
Buy them their own kitchen tools so they get excited about using them and then you’ll see them jump to your side when you’re ready to start dinner. I love little helpers in the kitchen.
StarPack Nylon Kitchen Knife Set (3 Piece) – The Perfect Kids Knife, Lettuce Knife and Safe Kitchen KnifeJoie Fruit And Vegetable Wavy Chopper Knife, Stainless Steel Blade, Colors VaryCurious Chef Children’s 6-Piece Fruit and Veggie Prep KitRiki’s Kingdom kids Cooking & Baking Utensil Set, 21-Piece Safe Kitchen Tools,Pizza Cutter/Rolling Pin/Spatula/Whisk/Ladle/Pastry Brush/Veggie Peeler and Cutters/Apron/Hat/Recipe Cards
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