Looking for something practical to do with your little ones? Cooking with your children offers you a great opportunity to have great fun and some bonding time. Whether it’s a rainy day (unfortunately we get that a bit too much here in the west coast!) or your looking to fill in an afternoon during the holidays, cooking can be a great way to spend some quality time!
For the younger kids aged 5 and under it can be messy but that’s all part of the fun. Developing this practice can not only help bring out budding culinary skills down the line with your child, but hopefully there will be some tasty food for your efforts. So with that being said, here are a couple of things to bear in mind before getting started.
The first thing to remember is safety. With plenty of enthusiasm can come plenty of hazards. Make sure that there is nothing too hot, sharp, heavy etc within hands reach. Also if you’re doing any of your own cooking and have to move, make sure there’s a clear path.
The next big thing to remember is that every child has different skill ranges and interests in cooking. You can tailor the experience to their skills and interests; the most important thing is to have fun!
Some good activities to get your child started include:
- Washing Vegetables (Great way to teach them different names at the same time)
- Buttering slices of bread
- Making shapes
- Weighing the ingredients into scales
If they are little older and you think they can do something more advanced, try something like rolling, cutting, shaping and cutting dough. Another option would be to cut up some fruit (Again use a non sharp knife). A simple recipe like a fresh fruit salad can be great and easy to make. Other simple to make recipes that come to mind include:
There are countless dishes you can create. Just prepare yourself for a bit of a mess and plenty of smiles.
When the ‘piece de resistance’ is created ,you can celebrate and enjoy it together. Depending on the recipe, the fun part of cleaning comes next. As there can be a bit of mess, allow some time to cleaning up.
Overall, getting to put on the apron and playing chef for a day can be fantastic fun for you and your child. The whole process is not only a great chance to teach about the names of different foods and develop some future master chef skills, it’s about spending some quality bonding time. Cooking is just one way that can tighten the bond between you and your child. And who knows, you might just have the next Jamie Oliver on your hands!
“Food, to me, is always about cooking and eating with those you love and care for”