Cooking with children is a great way to teach them about food and cooking and importantly healthy food and cooking. When they help cook and grow up surrounded by healthy food and the idea of cooking, they will develop healthy habits. They will continue to eat and cook healthy food as adults. It will just be a healthy habit to them. Plus one day they'll actually be helpful!
I cook all the time with my kids. Sometimes it is a special activity, other times it is just cooking dinner with them helping. My two year old son is never happier than when he is sat next to the cooker helping me cook. He likes to direct me and tell when I’ve got things wrong. It’s so cute.
“I’ll just get you the “laderwider” (aka ladel)!
If you’ve never done any cooking with your kids, here is my advice for getting started.
Top Tips for Cooking with Children
Plan ahead. Let the kids have a look at some recipe books and decide what they want to cook.
Buy the ingredients. Go together and make it a fun shopping trip.
Keep it Simple. Something nice and easy to start with.
Not just sweet things. Cakes are a great place to start, but giving kids control over what they eat for dinner is also great. Our new favourite is pork vindaloo thanks to my 7 year old’s cooking.
Age appropriate tasks. All ages can help cook. My toddlers do a bit of stirring and cracking eggs. The older boys are learning how to use sharp knives. Even babies can watch and ‘help’. You know your children and you know what they are capable of.
Have fun! Enjoy it. You’ll probably make a mess but…
Clear up together. It’s part of learning about cooking.
Don’t worry if it doesn’t work out. Just try again!
Don’t worry if they don’t like it. It takes time for kids to accept new things. If you like it, keep making it. If it’s a disaster, try something new!
Cooking with kids is a great activity for learning, having fun and encouraging healthy eating habits.
Make it a regular part of your routine and you’ll really enjoy it. (We do ‘special cooking every couple of weeks or so.)
If you’d like some great recipes to start off with, check out Cooking with Kids.