Whether you have a family recipe for holiday cookies or tomato soup that you would like to pass down to your kids one day, the first step is to get them involved in the kitchen. It can be hard to imagine bringing your little ones into a room that is full of boiling pots and pans, but doing so sooner rather than later can get them interested in food.
Understanding where food comes from and how it's made can help children potentially make better eating choices in the future. Of course, you'll need to proceed with caution to make sure your family stays safe while preparing dishes that require the use of the stove and oven. Here are a few tips on how to keep your kids engaged, introduce them to food and make cooking a family affair.
Start with the Basics
You might think that your 5-year-old is far from being able to help you in the kitchen when you're making cake pops, but even young ones can be of assistance once they learn how to count. StartCooking.com suggests allowing them to handle the measurements. Explain the difference between tablespoons and teaspoons. Be hands-on and let them measure the milk and flour. Before you know it, your little ones will be dying to help you with your next recipe!
Make Advancements in Your Lessons
Your little ones will become more equipped to handle cooking in the kitchen with age - take advantage of this opportunity! One way that you can keep your kids engaged is by letting them prepare the ingredients.
For instance, if you're going to be making meatballs, let your kids shape the balls with their hands. If you're boiling corn, let them shuck the vegetables before you place the corn in the pot. Although this may turn out messier than if you were to do it yourself, just remember - your kids are learning in the process!
Teach and Exercise Safety
Safety is a crucial component to cooking in the kitchen, whether you're with children or making food alone. Make sure no pot or pan handles are hanging off the edge of the stove. Always have a close eye on your kids if you're using sharp utensils while cooking. Don't forget to teach your children these precautionary measures along the way to keep them safe when they're eventually making food on their own!