Do your kids help you out in the kitchen? Of course they do, they want to be involved! But maybe their attention only extends to licking the bowl when you’re done with it, or getting the first cookie off of the tray. And let’s face it, you’re worried that’s all they’re ever going to care about!
However, there’s no need to panic. You can get the kids easily involved if you just give them a bit of a push, and we’ve listed some inspirational ideas below for you. And once you’ve managed to engage your child’s attention, be sure to pick up any of the good recipes right here on the blog to foster their cooking creativity a little further!
Let Them Pick Ingredients When Shopping
Kids love being able to buy something; it makes them feel grown up, and you’ll finally be able to find out what the fussy eater in the family really wants to eat! So the next time you head to the supermarket, give your kids a small budget of their own. Say £3 each, and then take them around the shop to pick out a couple of items they’d like to see in their meal.
With such a small budget, you won’t be working with a load of produce you’ll never manage to use before going bad, and you won’t be wasting a substantial amount of the weekly budget either. You’re simply giving the kids some freedom to make choices of their own, and no one gets hurt!
Once you’re home, the kids will love coming up with ways to incorporate their ingredients into the meals of the day. They’ll be in the kitchen with you, and actively involved in the cooking process.
Then Start with the Tasty Stuff!
Kids respond better to ingredients that warm their taste buds than they do a bit of celery or a carrot stick dipped in hummus – and that’s just how it tends to be! However, you can use this to your advantage. If you teach the kids how to cook tasty yet unhealthy food first of all, they’ll want to spend more and more time in the kitchen with you. And when they’re present and correct, you can take time to show them even more diverse (and more nutritionally beneficial) recipes.
To get started, you could think about getting a Brownie Delivery order out to them, let them try some of the goodies inside, and then ask them what ingredients they think the brownies are made of. Once they’re made their decision, talk through with them about how these ingredients should only be enjoyed every once in a while.
You can then turn to your kitchen counter and show them a few healthier ingredients you’ve already chopped up, and walk them through a recipe that’s both fun and easy for a child to handle. A simple turn and switch like this both captures their attention, and follows up with a lesson for them to take to heart.
Develop Their Skills By Age
Developing your child’s cooking skills by age is key. Sure, you don’t want them to burn themselves on the oven or cut themselves with a potato peeler, but there are plenty of other tasks they can try out instead. And when you take your child’s age into account, you’ll make cooking together a more enriching activity.
For example, if your child is 3 or even a bit younger, letting them wash the vegetables can be a fun and manageable activity. However, if your child is 6 or older, this is going to be a bit boring! You’ll want to give them something more to do, that’s a bit more involved and feels like they’re getting some responsibility handed to them. After all, kids love knowing that their efforts are important, and it’ll bring them back more often to help out again.
Let any older children use small, blunt knives to try out cutting ingredients with. Let them try to use cheese on the grater, and let them get their hands in the bowl and mix together a dough. You can even start asking their opinions on what they think the family should eat tonight; you might end up with the suggestion of making the spaghetti out of sweet laces, but the fact that you asked will make all the difference!
If your kids aren’t interested in cooking, there are many ways you can change that. Use the tips above to get started.