Cooking with your kids gives you the chance to introduce them to a range of fresh, healthy foods in a positive way.
It can encourage healthy eating habits for life and gives you meaningful bonding time your children will savour.
So how can you include the kids while ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience?
Here are five great tips get you started.
1. Make safety a priority
While cooking is a fun and valuable activity to share with your kids, it’s important to set clear rules and boundaries when they are in the kitchen with you. Kitchen safety should be your number one priority before cooking, and all activities in the kitchen should be done in a supervised, clutter-free and calm environment.
Think about things like using knives that aren’t too sharp and ensuring that any step chairs have non-slip pads.
2. Preparation is key
Depending on the age of your child it’s a great idea to prepare some of the steps before your child helps.
Making veggie faces? Chop everything in advance. Baking a cake? Preheat the oven, line the tin and collect all of the ingredients.
This will help you focus on the task at hand and keep your child involved for the more enjoyable aspects of cooking.
3. Accept the mess
Cooking is messy and when kids are involved even more so. There will likely be a scoop of flour that doesn’t make the bowl and an egg that rolls on the floor.
But remember that accidents happen and learning a new skill takes some trial and error in a safe and supportive environment.
4. Let them lead
Another great way to build confidence in cooking is to let your child take the lead and make some decisions. Let them choose a new ingredient to use, weigh and measure out the ingredients or select a recipe to try on their own (with your assistance).
Giving some freedom to try new things promotes positive self-esteem and enhances the learning experience.
5. Have fun
Sometimes making a meal isn’t about the food at all. The one-on-one time shared together is a great place to enjoy each other’s company and have some fun.
If all that happens is a big mess and a burnt batch of biscuits the time shared will still be worth the effort.