Get Your Kids in the Kitchen!
Blog Eight: Monday, 20 May 2019
Written by Mandy Sacher, CEO of Wholesome Child
It’s never too early to get your kids hands-on in the kitchen and teach them the basics of cooking, plus it can be a great time to introduce your little ones to the joys of preparing food for the ones you love too.
For many time poor and frazzled families, even the thought of cooking with little ones and the resulting mess is no-go. But why not try my age-appropriate guides and simple recipes to get little ones involved.
Let’s look at the benefits of cooking with kids…
Develops fine motor skills
Motor skills are all actions that involve your child using their muscles. Getting your child hands-on in the kitchen, playing with flour or cutting soft veggies with a plastic knife provides a great fine motor skill workout.
Teaches your child about nutrition
When you’re cooking with your child, it can be the perfect opportunity to spark conversations about the foods you’re cooking with and how they will help to keep the body healthy. It can be a great way to seamlessly educate your child about nutrition in a relaxed setting.
Encourages reading and numeracy skills
Who said learning had to be boring? While initially kids may need assistance to read and follow recipes, soon they’ll start to recognise ingredient names and measurements on their own.
I’ve broken down what little ones may be able to help with in the kitchen…
Cooking with under three’s
For the younger family members, focus on preparation tasks more than actual cooking:
- Washing and peeling veggies – this is an excellent way to expose kids to as many veggies as possible.
- Mixing ingredients – using a large wooden spoon whilst encouraging them to hold the bowl with one hand, is an easy way for your child to mix together the ingredients for these Almond and Buckwheat Vanilla Biscuits before they mould them.
- Moulding cookie dough or bliss ball batter – let your child roll their own cookies.
Cooking with over three’s
By this stage, your child may be able to follow a simple recipe and understand basic instructions, so it’s a good opportunity to let them become more hands-on in the kitchen.
- Cutting and chopping soft fruit and veggies – invest in a kid-friendly knife and let them chop fruit, or even soft cheeses and bananas for snack time.
- Crumbing – now your kids will be really hands-on. Let them roll these Tasty Salmon and Millet Rissolesand then coat them in rice crumbs before they’re baked.
- Rolling and cutting cookie dough – choose plastic cutters and a small rolling pin.
Cooking with over five’s
By now, your child may have more developed motor skills, as well as improved reading and numeracy skills. While children should always be supervised in the kitchen, it’s a good chance to let them have some freedom to follow basic recipes by themselves.
- Measuring – let them follow the recipe to the best of their ability, measuring out the ingredients.
- Peeling – using a kid-friendly peeler, let them peel and chop the veggies for my warming Lentil and Veggie Soup. Lentils are full of protein and iron to keep your kids full of energy.
- Setting the dinner table – make family meals a cherished time by handing over this responsibility to your child.
Get busy in the kitchen this week with your little ones and let each other know how you get on!