Getting your kids involved in the kitchen can be a fun, bonding experience. It can also be a handy way of saving you a little bit of time too. Here are eight child-friendly tips for cooking together with your kids.
1. Plan ahead
Plan what you’re going to cook together. Perhaps baking is your thing, or exploring cuisine from a different country like sushi or a Thai green curry. Do the food shopping with your kids and be sure to prepare all your ingredients and equipment before you get started.
2. Start on the weekend
It may be too hectic to try to start cooking with your kids during an already jam-packed weekday routine. So instead, start on a weekend when you have more time to commit to a fun (and messy) afternoon in the kitchen.
3. Create a kids’ workstation
Set up a separate workstation for the kids – perhaps at the kitchen table where they are away from any hot appliances. Give them an apron and lay down a plastic mat under their station to aid in the clean-up after.
Choose recipes that your kids can customise and make their own like wraps, sandwiches or pizzas. They’ll enjoy choosing their own ingredients for their individual dishes and will be more likely to eat what they’ve made after, too. Our ham and cheese pinwheel recipe is a quick and easy one to try.
5. Give it lots of time
Even if the recipe says it only takes half an hour to make, don’t rush through it. If the kids are enjoying themselves, they’re not going to want to speed through the recipe and this extra bit of time will allow you to teach them a lot more skills in the process too.
6. Head to the zoo
Your kids will enjoy cooking when they get to be creative. Use animal-shaped cookie cutters when you’re baking or let the kids get their hands dirty making shapes with their food. Our lemony animal biscuits will let your kids do the work creating delicious and fun treats. Or why not encourage them to create their own animals from scratch? See our foodimals for inspiration.
7. Make it age appropriate
Even the toddlers can help out in the kitchen. Good tasks for the little ones include washing ingredients and using a rolling pin in baking. Simple recipes like this Very-berry breakfast smoothie, or getting them to mix a salad dressings are both good places to start for wee beginners.
8. Let them lead
Remember to get your kids to do some of the fun things first – like giving the first stir of a mixture or having the first taste of the dish they’ve made. It will get them really invested and excited about the whole process.