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Kids Cook Monday: Introduction
About this Kids Cook Monday series …
Meals should be a time of bonding and sharing. Instead, they are often filled with anxiety for many reasons. Parents report “food insecurity” from not having enough to eat or not eating the quality of food desired. This series focuses on alleviating these concerns and bringing families closer together by providing helpful information, as well as quick, easy, inexpensive quality meals that parents can make with their children.
Why is it important for children to help with meals?
Besides the bonding that comes with spending time together, making meals with your child can teach them responsibility and valuable skills. It can also help them find a sense of accomplishment in every day things.
Tips for Cooking With Kids
Safety is vital. Set the kitchen rules right from the start and repeat them often.
Give your child choices. Something as simple as, “Would you like peas or broccoli?” empowers your child. When a child is be able to exercise control over some part of their life, they feel more secure and valued. It is also good for them to feel like they are contributing to important decision making.
Allow your child to participate. Younger children can do simple things like add veggies to the pan or fetch items from the fridge. As they get older, their tasks can increase to things that require more skill and attention, such as stirring and chopping. Eventually, your child should be able to make full meals on their own.
Praise your child. When they do something well, let them know so they can keep doing things right.
Gently redirect when they make an error. Children learn quickly and stay involved in activities if they are corrected in a positive manner.
For those parents who have a difficult time finding ways to connect with their children, meal time can become a bountiful opportunity. More importantly, meal preparation can be a time of fun and learning.
© 2012 Rosa Marchisella