Do your children like to help in the kitchen? Have you asked them and encouraged them?
Most children love to “help” in the kitchen. This help may not always be appreciated but their enthusiasm should be encouraged. Being excited about working in the kitchen is a good trait for any child.
Here are three excellent ways to get kids cooking:
1. The #1 way to get kids cooking is to encourage and involve them in the work of the kitchen. Give them simple chores to do, depending on the age of the child. Setting the table, mixing ingredients, and washing food, such as lettuce in a colander are jobs even preschoolers can do. It may take a little more time and patience sharing your kitchen with young ones, but the smiles on their faces will more than compensate for a little flour on the floor or other spills.
2. Give children choices. The #2 way of getting kids in the kitchen is to give them choices in what they can do. For example, “Do you want to grease the pan or measure the sugar? Or you can ask “Would you like to put the napkins on the table or the silverware?” Eventually you may get them interested in doing both chores. Just make it sound interesting! Let them know this is a special job just for them. You may say: “You’re the only one in this family who knows where the knives, forks, and spoons go.”
3. Prepare simple foods with them and let them sample when it’s ready. Children feel good about the food they prepare and want to taste it. This is a good time to give them a little more information about the food. You can tell them where it is grown and some of the processes it went through to get to the stage it is now. Let them feel the food and talk about the color and the shape. What else do they know that is that color or that shape? How does it smell? Is it hot or is it cold? When they taste it, is it salty? Is it sweet? Have them describe how it looks and tastes.
By following these suggestions you will have excited and willing help in the kitchen - perhaps even promising young chefs. Many great cooks attribute their skill and interest in cooking to their earlier years when they were encouraged to help their parents or other adults prepare food.
For help in selecting recipes to prepare with children, check out the children’s cookbook, Cooking Around the Country With Kids: USA Regional Recipes and Fun Activities by Amy Houts. This cookbook helps parents and children work together in celebrating America’s cultural diversity through foods from different regions of the country and shows where food is grown or harvested.
To your health and that of your family,
WANT TO USE MY ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE?
You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it.