Any parent knows that their kid loves to get involved in activities and the kitchen tasks seem to be a draw. While some parents may lean away from allowing their kids to be involved in cooking and all things kitchen related, this is your sign to let them dive on in right beside you. Not only is it beneficial to their neurological development but it is also an excellent attachment and relationship builder. This post looks at six ways you can get your kids involved in the kitchen.
Let Them Add in the Ingredients
Baking or cooking involves different types of ingredients. Depending on their age, you can give your children the task of putting the ingredients into the pan or the bowl. If they are old enough you can even let them try measuring out food to make them feel even more a part of the process. This can be a great route to developing concentration and motor skills and also teaching them about quantity, food types, and multi-step activities.
Mixing and stirring can be lots of fun for children and it can help them understand the cooking process while building on essential knowledge bases as well. Teach by example by allowing a child to take charge of the spoon or the electric mixer.
Meal plans are a good thing for any parent. You can start from the beginning by helping your child set up a mean plan routine. Sit down and talk about what foods they like, what they might want to try, and how you can turn that into meals. Help them pick out the ingredients at the store and bring it all together by creating the dish back in the kitchen. This method gives children agency over their diet, in turn encouraging them to eat the food on their plate (which can be a challenge for a lot of parents), engage with healthy eating practices, and have fun while they do it.
Make a Recipe Book Together
When you have your meal plans you can even turn them into a family recipe book. They can keep this and add to it so it serves as an ongoing activity that brings you all together.
Give them a Cupboard
Your child will undoubtedly already have their own crockery and cutlery. If you put this in an accessible place it encourages task autonomy and enables them to start to take ownership over their mealtimes. They can reach their plates, so they are more likely to get out their equipment at meal times and feel involved. You can also throw in their own, cute aprons and utensils to help with cooking and baking.
Children washing up is not always ideal; however, it can be a good teaching tool. You can always go back and do it yourself later if necessary. Aside from washing up, children can also learn to put things away and clean sides down after a cooking session. This teaches them essential life skills that they will take with them into adulthood.
The most important thing is to have faith in their abilities and capacity to learn. Children acquire new skillsets at a rapid rate when they are growing up, especially in their foundation years. This can be a fun journey for everyone involved and as a parent, it is your role to encourage, teach and instill confidence across the board. When you show encouragement and belief, it is automatically transferred to your child who then believes in themselves and what they are capable of doing. Let them try and let them explore in the kitchen!