As you know when I last stopped in to my own website I was in the process of learning to cook with my son, then a baby, now a helpful little man in the kitchen. It has taught me a lot. Cooking with your children is a fun and educational activity that can provide quality time together while teaching life skills. Cooking together helps develop children’s creativity, language skills, math skills, and encourages them to try new things. Here are some ideas for cooking with your children.
1. Start With Simple Recipes
Start with simple recipes that involve minimal preparation and cooking time. Simple dishes like scrambled eggs, smoothies, or fruit salads are great for introducing your kids to the kitchen and giving them confidence in their abilities with recipes they really can’t go wrong with.
Not only will you be teaching them valuable life skills, but you’ll also be creating some amazing memories together. My son loves helping me cook – he gets so excited to crack the eggs for our morning scramble and blend up our favorite smoothie recipe. One time, he even tried to add his own special ingredient – gummy bears! While I had to explain that wasn’t the best idea, it was a great opportunity to talk about food safety and experimenting with flavors.
And in case you are wondering, we did not add gummy bears. 😉️
2. Focus on Safety Measures
I know that you might be already for some fun in the kitchen with your little ones! But it is also a chance to teach them about safety- Teaching your kids basic kitchen safety is not only important, but it can also be a great bonding experience. My four year old son, loves to help me cook and he’s always eager to learn. One day, we were making cookies together when he reminded me to wash my hands before handling any ingredients – I was so proud of him! With our teamwork and focus on safety, we whipped up a batch of delicious cookies that we both enjoyed.
3. Let the Kids Choose the Ingredients
Letting your children pick out ingredients at the grocery store or farmers market is a great way to get them excited about cooking. They may even be more willing to try new foods if they have been involved in selecting them.
4. Make It Fun!
Let me tell you about the time I cooked with my son and my niece. She was only five years old but she had so much fun decorating her cupcakes with sprinkles and candy flowers. She even insisted on making a “secret ingredient” by adding a pinch of edible glitter (yeah, I know) to the frosting! We danced around the kitchen to some silly songs and laughed as we licked spoons clean. Cooking can be a great way to spend quality time with loved ones and create happy memories. So put on some of your favorite music, grab some goofy aprons, and let your imagination run wild in the kitchen!
5. Teach Measurement Skills
Cooking is an excellent way to teach basic measurement skills such as using measuring cups and spoons accurately. Letting your kids measure ingredients can also help them develop math skills by practicing counting, fractions, and conversions.
6. Experiment With Flavors
For me, one of the absolute best parts of cooking with children is seeing them light up with excitement when they get to add their own special touch. My four-year-old son loves experimenting with different flavors and he always surprises me with his unique combinations. This, to be honest, can be both good and bad surprise, he enjoys them regardless. One time, while making spaghetti sauce together, he insisted on adding cinnamon. I was skeptical at first but it turned out to be a delicious twist on the classic recipe! When I looked further into it I saw that it is actually something that people do, they must have been cooking with their kids when they discovered it. Letting your child explore new tastes is not only fun, but it also helps develop their palate and opens up a world of culinary possibilities for them. So go ahead, next time your child asks to experiment, let your little chef take the lead in the spice cabinet – you might just discover a new family favorite! Or you will have to pretend you did!
7. Clean up Together
Cooking with my son has always an adventure! He loves to stir and mix ingredients, and his favorite part is tasting the batter (who can blame him?). Now that he is older, after we’re done making a mess in the kitchen, we always take the time to clean up together. It’s a great opportunity to teach him good hygiene practices like washing dishes and wiping down counters, plus it’s a chance for us to bond over our shared love of cooking. With my little helper by my side, even the most mundane tasks become fun and enjoyable!
Cooking with your children is a fun and educational activity that can help them develop their creativity, language skills, math skills, and encourage them to try new things. By starting with simple recipes and focusing on safety measures, letting the kids choose the ingredients, making it fun, teaching measurement skills, experimenting with flavors, and cleaning up together – you’ll be sure to have a great time cooking with your kids!