3 Tips for Cooking With Toddlers and Kids
Anyone living in a household with children knows how chaotic everyday life can be. Part of that chaos is trying to cook and get good food on the table. Our toddlers and kids of all ages often want to spend time with us while we’re cooking. They want to feel included in our lives and control what they eat.
Make the kitchen safe and fun by including them in the cooking process. Try the following three tips for cooking with toddlers and kids to successfully introduce them to your meal prep routine.
Make the Kitchen a Fun, Safe Place
Before you consider cooking with your child, ensure they feel comfortable in the kitchen. Most children feel comfortable when they can have fun and know they’re safe. Start by removing adult-only items, such as sharp knives and heavy equipment, from your child’s reach to make your kitchen fun and safe. Allow children to watch you as you prepare a meal.
You can help your child safely interact with cooking items in different ways. Toddlers still using a highchair may enjoy sitting with a few safe utensils like spoons and whisks. Older toddlers enjoy sensory bins full of food items, like scooping frozen peas from a big bowl into a smaller one. Older children can start getting more involved in the cooking process, such as cutting soft foods and sprinkling in seasonings.
Cook New Recipes Alone First
Cooking with kids isn’t for the faint of heart. As your children get older and more comfortable in the kitchen, they will want to cook with you more. Before you let them jump in on the next meal, familiarize yourself with the recipe. If it’s a new recipe, try to cook it alone first. Doing so will allow you to know if there are any problem areas in the recipe where it’s best to work alone. Once you’re familiar and comfortable with a recipe, get your kids involved and give them safe, age-appropriate jobs.
Small, safe, age-appropriate jobs don’t even have to involve cooking. Kids can retrieve ingredients, set timers, set the table, or help clean up a spill. If your young child wants to help cook, you can teach them how to wash fresh produce, crack eggs, or stir ingredients together. Older children can cut soft foods with a child-safe knife, peel fruits and vegetables, read recipes aloud, and grease cookware. Let them try all different jobs to discover what they love about cooking.
Cooking with toddlers and kids is challenging but rewarding. Following the three tips we shared above can make the process easier as you help them develop necessary life skills. If you want to give them the best kitchen to cook in, consider buying your kitchen appliances online at ROBAM. Our high-quality appliances provide the perfect training grounds for young cooks!