Cooking with kids

Make the Most of Cooking With Kids

Posted on November 13, 2018 : Posted in Legacy Academy, Parenting Tips

Cooking with kids

Cooking is a daily occurrence in most households, and learning to cook is an important life skill. At the same time, few parents find the time or energy to commit to cooking with their children. And it’s true, cooking with kids can be messy and slow and require a lot of patience. Still, with the right planning, children can be very helpful in the kitchen. The time you spend cooking with your child will also boost their confidence, independence, and understanding of the world.

Grocery Shopping

Every meal begins with ingredients. Including your child in the ingredient-buying process will increase their understanding of many important parts of life: nutrition, finances, and more. As you shop, ask your child to help you choose the best-looking produce. Ask them which products are familiar and which they’ve never seen before. Make them your helpers, giving them the jobs of weighing produce, putting groceries in the cart, and helping you pay and bag them. Once you get home, explain which foods need to be refrigerated as they help you put them away. The experience of buying food expands your child’s view of food and where it comes from.

Measure, Pour, and Stir

While your child might not be old enough to sauté a pan of vegetables for you, that doesn’t mean they can’t help you cook. In fact, there are plenty of lessons to be learned in the kitchen as meals come together. Help your child measure the liquids, flours, and herbs that you put into your food. Explain the different measurements and why we use more of some things than others. Once your child has added ingredients, allow them to stir, modeling the way to stir slowly and carefully. Ask them to notice the differences in the food as it mixes together. Your child will feel very proud of their contributions to the food preparation.

Can Kids Use Knives?

There is a wide array of feelings about allowing young children to cut food with sharp knives when cooking with kids. Some choose to keep knives put away for safety, which is entirely understandable. Other parents, however, see sharp knives as an opportunity to teach a child to take care and learn responsibility, among other benefits. In fact, recent research shows that children who are given opportunities to take risks are less violent and have higher self-esteem. Obviously, children should never be given anything sharp or hot without very close supervision. If you decide to give your child a chance to work with knives, start with a butter knife or other duller blade. Once they show proficiency in cutting soft fruits and vegetables, they are ready for closely monitored use with a sharper implement.

Kitchen Chores

Another popular and beneficial way of cooking with kids is letting them see the many chores that appear in the kitchen. Even very young children can set and clear the table, put some dishes away, and help wipe the counters. Including your children in the kitchen chores, even if it just means they stand on a stool beside you as you wash dishes, gives them an awareness of household duties. Also, you gain the added bonus of quality time with your child.

It is very easy for parents to get wrapped up in the daily demands of running a household. When we compartmentalize our family life, we miss opportunities to include our children in the small daily tasks that teach them life skills. Cooking with kids isn’t easy, and no parent can manage it every day. At the same time, choosing to spend time with your child in the kitchen holds benefits for you both. If you are looking for childcare that emphasizes these same life skills and personal responsibility, look no further than Legacy Academy. Visit one of our centers in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas today!