Whether you have a budding little chef on your hands, or you just want to get the kids involved in the kitchen, cooking with your kids can be a fun and educational experience! Incorporating math, science, reading comprehension, geography, fine motor skills, and a pinch of creativity, teaching your children how to cook can encourage them to try new foods, and may even lead to a lifetime of healthy eating habits. Here are our favorite tips to get cooking with your kids!
Let your kids help plan the menu for the week and make a grocery list together. Talk about healthy choices for snacks and meals, and let them select a few new vegetables or fruits to try. Let older kids be in charge of crossing items off the list as you go, or play a fun game of “I Spy” with younger children — I spy with my eye something that is juicy, red and delicious! Kids will also love weighing produce to see just how much those apples will cost.
Little Sous Chef
There are many ways kids can help prep food for a meal. First, remember to use age-appropriate tools and keep dangerous or sharp utensils out of reach. Gather the ingredients together and let kids wash fruits and veggies, shuck corn, tear lettuce, or snap peas. Little kids can strengthen fine motors skill by poring and stirring. Older kids can help peel cucumbers, slice tomatoes, or scrub potatoes. Once those clean potatoes are cooked, kids of every age will have a blast mashing them with a potato masher. Then let your little sous chefs take turns sprinkling on the herbs and seasonings.
Pull out those measuring cups and spoons and turn cooking into a fun math game! At dinner, let little ones measure out a serving of pasta, or frozen veggies to add to soup. For dessert, bake up a treat and let the kids measure out all the ingredients. For older kids, double (or triple) the recipe and see if they can do the math! Following a recipe is also a great way to encourage reading comprehension.
Learn about different countries and take a culinary trip around the world by making a new food each week. Cooking recipes from other countries teaches kids about geography and other cultures, and encourages kids to become an adventurous eater. Try simple, kid-friendly recipes like homemade Italian tomato sauce, German potato pancakes with fresh applesauce, enchiladas from Mexico, or a Chinese stir-fry.
Chances are your kids will be healthier eaters if they take an active part in meal preparation. Plus, they will get a big boost in self-esteem by learning how to cook. Just like eating together as a family, cooking together helps create fun memories and strengthens family bonds. Help kids get excited about spending time in the kitchen and get ready for some good, messy fun! Tell us your favorite kid-friendly dishes and let’s get cooking! And follow our new board on Pinterest with Kid-Friendly Recipes: https://www.pinterest.com/thertastore/kid-friendly-recipes/