When you teach your children how to cook, they will develop a skill that will follow them throughout life. Everyone remembers the kitchen disasters that some people have when they go out on their own. There are the stories of under cooked chicken, scorched pasta and weeks spent eating the same meal. When you give your children the right cooking skills, they will be the ones teaching their friends how to cook.
The first step is to get your children interested in spending time in the kitchen. Many parents start by teaching their children how to cook, but this isn’t always the first step that you have to take. One of my favorite ideas is to get kids to make food containers.
Firstly, go out and pick up some plastic bottles, or get them online. Depending on the age of your child, you might prefer to buy glass jars instead. Next, buy some labels that fit around the bottle or jar. Now, you have a plain canvas that’s ready for your child to decorate.
As your child decorates containers, they will learn about different ingredients. They will need to design a label for a container that holds olive oil, and they’ll learn about olive oil in the process. The same for every other ingredient like jams, herbs and spices. I think it’s nice to tell your child a bit about how the ingredients are grown and made, but that’s up to you.
The trick is to get them passionate about the ingredients. Children are fascinated by the idea of mixing things and the results it creates. Get them interested in the ingredients, and you’ll get them interested in cooking with much less effort.
A lot of parents worry about introducing healthy eating habits by only getting them to make healthy food, but this isn’t the right way to go. Some think that if you teach children how to make vegetable salads they’ll spend the rest of their days eating well. The truth is, the most difficult part is actually getting your kids to cook in the first place. Once your kid starts cooking, it’s very easy to encourage them toward trying healthier recipes in the future.
I like to start off by getting the child to follow recipes that contain one or more of the ingredients from the prior task. If they learned all about jam, give them a recipe that contains jam. If they learned all about broccoli, give them a recipe that contains broccoli.
The BBC suggests a great little recipe for kids to make sunshine burgers. They look delicious, and they taste just as great as they look. Usually it’s best to start with a little bit of baking, but afterwards this is a great recipe to move onto. It’s a nice simple recipe and the burgers will be ready in around 20 minutes. Not only will children have so much fun, they tend to be fascinated with the way mince turns into a burger during the cooking process. You’ll get lots of questions and puzzled looks – which is a great sign that your children are learning.