The Best Way to Teach Your Child to Cook
Little Chef Du Jour
Cooking With Kids: Tutti-Frutti Salad
Kids Cooking For Kids #1
Note: Parent's should always supervise their children in the kitchen.
Cooking with your children can be a great experience as long as all parties involved want to cook. But what do you do when your child is not interested in cooking? There are several things you can do to change their outlook about cooking.
- Make Fun Foods – Making foods that are fun can help your kids to get excited about cooking. Trying desserts or foods that are fun to eat is always a good starting point. Some simple foods that kids can make with your help are S’mores, Homemade Pizza, Fruit Salad, Spaghetti and Sandwiches. Use your imagination or take a look at a kids’ cookbook or even online for some fun ideas. Making foods that kids’ think are fun or that they enjoy eating can help them to get excited about making them.
- Find Something They Like To Do – My son had no desire to cook at all in fact he actually hated it to begin with. That was until I found out what he wanted to do, all he wanted to do was crack the eggs. At first I just let him crack the eggs and slowly told him that if he wanted to crack the eggs he would have to do other things too. I still let him choose what it was that he wanted to do and soon he was doing more and more things. Letting him do what he liked to do gave him control and that made him feel more comfortable about cooking.
- Ask Them What They Would Like to Make – Giving them responsibilities like choosing what you are going to make really helps to get them motivated and involved. Your children will want to help because it is something that they want to make or eat. This also helps you to show that you are interested in making something that they like with them and maybe next time they can help you to make something you would like to make. Doing something that interests them is a great motivator and can make for a positive cooking experience.
- Do Not Force – If you try to get them to cook and they are resistant then do not force the issue. Forcing the issue will only making cooking a chore for them because it will not be fun. This is a good way to turn your children off from cooking. If they are not interested at the time then let it go and maybe try again later at another time. Sometimes you have to give them a chance to show a little bit of interest. Again this can be done by taking small steps towards cooking.
- Start Small – Give them one thing to do and slowly build from there.This can be something as simple as having your child hand you something from the shelf or the refrigerator. Then maybe next time having them pour or measure something. The longer your child hangs around the kitchen while you are cooking the more little tasks you can give them. Your child might not show interest at the time but you are slowly working their way into cooking. Sometimes it’s the little things that can make a big difference.
- Make Cooking Fun – Sometimes as parents we focus too much on it being perfect. Understand that it is not going to be, have fun with it and your children will have fun too. To make it fun, find fun things to cook and to eat. Also have fun while you are cooking and then eating what you have made. Make it a cooking party while teaching them how to cook. Children learn quickly when they are having fun and they can still understand how you have to be careful while cooking.
- Start Simple – Start with a simple recipe that is quick and easy. Maybe even just making sandwiches or making cookies. This simple step can be built upon later each time you cook together. Maybe later on a sandwich can turn into sandwich and soup or something completely different. Starting small and simple works well with children especially since when they are younger they have shorter attention spans. Each time you can build upon what you are cooking by adding more recipes and some more difficult recipes.
- Start With One Dish and Work Your Way Up – Just like with starting simple starting with just one dish or one item makes things easier on the child. Trying to have a child cook a whole meal or lots of different dishes can be a bit confusing. Helping them to learn about cooking is easiest with just a few steps and focusing on just one dish helps the child to stay focused. Pick one item that you want to cook with your child and focus on the steps to make that item you can always do more than one dish or item at another time.
- Make Cooking a Special Occasion – Have fun with this, you are trying to get your child involved and helping them to enjoy cooking. Again making this like a special occasion or a special time for you and your child will only add to this experience. If your child feels like this is special to you and you are including them then it will feel special to them as well.
- Have Fun Teaching – If you are having fun cooking and teaching your child and your child sees that you enjoy cooking, chances are that they will have fun too. Making cooking seem like a chore will turn a child off of cooking immediately. Get dirty and messy, sing and dance and make cooking a fun experience for all involved. Enjoy what you are doing and your child will enjoy the time that they are spending with you.
Very simply enjoy what you are doing and make sure that your child is too. The more fun they are having while cooking the more apt they are to enjoy themselves and want to do it again.