Cooking with kids can be educational and enjoyable — promise
Running out of ideas to keep your kids entertained at home? Is figuring out how to keep your kids fed all day, meal after meal and snack after snack, driving you crazy?
Bringing your kids into the kitchen and getting them involved in the cooking process is a great way to teach them where their food comes from and how it gets onto the kitchen table.
Helpful tips when cooking with kids
You can get your children involved in cooking no matter their age. But just how involved they get depends on their capabilities.
For very young children, participating in the kitchen can be as simple as adding chopped vegetables into a bowl or finding the right ingredients in the fridge. Meanwhile, older kids can help prepare foods by, for example, assembling a simple pizza or beating an egg.
Children can even get involved in the riskier aspects of cooking, such as peeling and dicing vegetables. Parents should use their judgement on whether their kids are ready to take on this task. Parental supervision at all times is critical and it is important to not rush children when they are using sharp tools.
Reinforce the importance of mise en place, French for “putting in place.” This involves preparing all the necessary ingredients prior to the start of cooking. This allows your children to safely dice and chop at their own pace, minimizing any risk of injury.
Easy-to-follow online resources
You are not on your own for figuring out what to teach your kids. The internet provides a plethora of cooking courses that teach kids how to get started in the kitchen.
The ChopChop Cooking Club, related to the Chop Chop Family Magazine, is a free resource full of online cooking lessons for kids. In addition to recipe ideas for kids, the website offers family activities that complement the cooking challenge. If your kids are having trouble in the kitchen, they can follow helpful tutorials on various kitchen skills.
The Step Stool Chef is a popular YouTube channel that empowers kids in and out of the kitchen. It features a budding chef, with his mother as his assistant.
Similarly, the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse provides cooking lessons for kids, focusing on healthy eating. This course contains more than 45 videos teaching various kitchen skills to children at three different skill levels (beginner, intermediate and advanced). With comprehensive cooking lessons and recipe ideas, now is a great time to get started on this course with your kids.
Recipe ideas for kids
- Make-Your-Own Smoothie: This is a simple way for your kids to get creative in the kitchen. Blend fruit of any kind with milk, ice, yogurt and orange juice. Using frozen fruit is quick, convenient and just as nutritious.
- French Bread Pizzas: Using French bread and pantry items, pizzas are a fun, interactive way to make dinner. For younger kids, parents can prepare all the toppings and children can be in charge of assembling.
- Tiny Banana Splits: These bite-sized treats are healthier than the usual banana split and come with all the fun toppings, making it the perfect dessert. Children can mix-and-match and create their own invention!
Cooking is a life skill that it is never too early to learn. Using all the tips above, you will have chefs-in-training at home in no time.