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Teaching youngsters to cook is a fun way of keeping them entertained but it’s also an effective way to help them develop important life skills. When kids help to prepare a meal, they’re more likely to try new foods and enjoy a wider range of flavors. In addition to this, encouraging your kids to help around the kitchen can help to ensure they’re eating a well-balanced diet. To get started, take a look at these five tips for teaching kids to cook:
1. Choose the Right Time
If you’ve had a long day at work, your kids are over-tired or you have a million and one chores to get through, it probably isn’t the right time to let youngsters loose in the kitchen! Teaching kids to cook requires patience, so choose a time that won’t put you under too much pressure. The weekends and school holidays are ideal for teaching kids to cook, so be sure to factor it into your schedule.
2. Wear Play Clothes
Cooking is a messy business when kids are involved, so make sure you’re well-prepared. Have your kids wear play clothes or something old before they get started. Even with an apron, they’re likely to end up with some (or most!) of the ingredients on them! Similarly, make sure you’re wearing something that can withstand oil or sauce stains.
3. Start with Hygiene
Hygiene is essential in a kitchen environment, so make sure you incorporate this when you’re teaching kids how to cook. Regular handwashing and not using the same utensils or equipment to deal with raw and cooked meat should be one of the first things kids learn when they help out in the kitchen. By instilling these basic kitchen hygiene rules at a young age, you can ensure your kids know how to keep themselves safe when preparing food.
4. Make Their Favorite Foods
When you’re first starting out, make your kids’ favorite foods with them. From cookies and cakes to burgers or pizza, there are endless options to consider. What’s more – many of these foods are relatively easy to prepare. If you’re looking for inspiration, this is the absolute best pizza sauce recipe out there and it’s super easy to make. When you know your kids are going to enjoy the end result, you can be confident that your time in the kitchen will be a success.
5. Use Child-Friendly Equipment
There will be some things, such as sharp knives or handheld whisks, that aren’t suitable for young kids, but you will find that child-friendly kitchen equipment is available. Made for smaller hands and maximizing safety, getting the right utensils can make the process more fun for kids (and improve the outcome!).
When Can Kids Learn to Cook?
Kids can start helping you out in the kitchen from a relatively young age, providing you prioritize safety and ensure they’re supervised at all times. From stirring the mixture when you’re baking a cake to adding their own toppings to home-made pizzas, there are numerous tasks that kids can get involved with.