If you’re a mom or dad who loves to cook, you’ve likely thought about a future where you and your kids cook meals together and bond over your love for each other and for food. However, if you keep putting off teaching your kids the skills they need to be helpful in the kitchen, this dream future likely won’t even become a reality.
While it can be hard to be patient with your little ones when trying to make food, these times spent cooking and preparing food together can help them develop a lifelong love for cooking. So to help you take the first few steps on this journey, here are three tips for inspiring a love for cooking in your children.
Start With Something Easy
Being in the kitchen with you can be very intimidating for kids, especially if they’ve previously been told that certain things in the kitchen are dangerous or if you’ve tried to teach them how to cook things before and have been too impatient. Because of this, it’s important that you’re able to help them feel confident in the kitchen.
To do this, Dr. Mary L. Gavin, a contributor to KidsHealth.org, recommends that you give them easy tasks that are age appropriate. For example, have your older kids start with simple cutting on your butcher block counters. For younger kids, ask them to help with pouring things or counting certain ingredients. As they get older and their skills increase, you can start giving them more complicated tasks and sharing more of the workload.
Cook All Types Of Foods Together
You might be tempted to just have your kids help you with certain types of foods, like baked goods or treats. And while these can be fun to make and eat, it’s important that your kids get to experience cooking a wide variety of foods with you if you want them to learn to really love to cook.
One way you can accomplish this, according to Cheryl Strenman Rule, a contributor to Parents.com, is to alternate you picking the recipe with them picking the recipe. By doing this, you’ll help them have a little more control over what they’re learning while you’re also able to pick recipes that will challenge them and help to fill in their knowledge gaps.
Eat While You Cook
While it’s important that you keep this sanitary while cooking, especially if you plan to share your final product with others, you can also encourage your kids to try the foods they’re cooking and preparing before the final product is done.
According to Catherine McCord, a contributor to Food Network, by encouraging your kids to try foods before they’re cooked and after, you’ll help them learn about how foods change and how flavors can work together to create something totally different.
If you want to help your children cultivate a love for cooking, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you have a more enjoyable time in the kitchen together.