Most kids love to cook and although it can be a hassle for parents to let them help in the kitchen, it is surprising just how quickly kids can learn and be quite helpful.
My 7 and 5 year old can cook basic things like eggs and pikelets and they have a good understanding of kitchen safety, I love seeing the joy on their faces as we cook.
Below are our top tips for cooking with kids:
Expect a lot of mess, believe me if you tell yourself from the beginning that it is going to be messy then you are less likely to lose patience, there will be the odd bit of flour or a cracked egg on the floor, I try to remember that all messes can be cleaned and that teaching my kids how to cook is more valuable than a clean kitchen. In saying that I also teach my kids to tidy up after themselves, if they spill something they need to have a go at wiping it up < and yes sometimes this makes more mess haha!
Explain things, take your time to explain what utensils are used for, what certain ingredients do and why we measure and weigh things, you will be surprised how much your child will retain the information and how spot on they can be when it comes to measuring. It's also good to cover food hygiene.
Let them touch and taste what they are making, this is not only fun for them but it teaches them about different flavours and textures, ask them questions like do you think this is sweet enough? Do you think its thick enough? kids love having control over a recipe.
Be prepared, get all the ingredients out ready with the recipe, if your child is able to read get them to guide siblings in what steps to take.
Be prepared for imperfection, odd shaped biscuits under cooked cup cakes are all part of learning, if something doesn't work out try and problem solve what the issue could have been and even get your child to make a note on the recipe for next time. If we have messed up a recipe I always revisit that recipe and see if we can perfect it, it is a great way of teaching the kids to keep trying and they love it when it turns out right.
Have fun, before to long you will most probably have teenagers who won't want to go anywhere near a dish haha so enjoy the time with your little ones in the kitchen, not only are you teaching a great life skill but you are also creating amazing memories with your kids.
And always make sure your kids are supervised in the kitchen, this is pretty much a no brainer :)
Some easy recipes I cook with my kids are:
4 ingredient cookies, I give the kids the dough and they can spen ages cutting out cookies.
Anything like ball recipes like these ones: White chocolate balls!
Do you have any tips to add for cooking with kids? Leave a comment on our face book page :)