How To Get Your Kids Involved In The Kitchen
Everyone should know their way around the kitchen stove. We feel like we can all agree on that one, right? Kids should know how to make their own cereal, and adults should at least know how to properly fry an egg or make some macaroni and cheese.
Well, while that may be what we all think and believe, the truth is – that couldn’t be farther away from the truth. So, how do we deal with that? Well, we feel like the best way to make sure you know your way around the kitchen is to start practising early. Since there is a slim to none chance of a kid coming up all by themselves and asking to learn how to cook, it is up to you to learn them.
But, that poses the question – how do you get your kids to become interested in doing some stuff around the kitchen? Well, the answer to that question isn’t simple, but we feel like we could give you a couple of pieces of advice.
Make It Fun
The thing is, kids simply won’t do anything that they don’t find amusing. After all, they’re just kids. So, it is up to you to try and make things interesting.
We all know that kids love to play games, so – make it a game. If they’re really young, you certainly won’t make them compete with you who can shop the onions faster, but what you could do is make a game of who can wash the veggies and fruit the best. Give them something easy to wash, like a cucumber or an apple – something that they can be not-so-gentle with. Don’t give them anything they can mush with their hands.
You will probably have to give them an award for winning the game, but still, you’ve got them to wash some veggies, so they do deserve a treat.
Ease Their Way In
As we’ve mentioned previously, you certainly won’t give a two-year-old a knife and have them chop up cilantro. Not only is that very dangerous, but it is also too complicated for them.
You should always start by washing or sorting the foods, or something as easy as that. Every kid should be able to wash and rinse some veggies, and even if they don’t do a good job – you can fix that later. The important thing is to get them to do it and make it easy for them. Also, every kid will easily separate the tomatoes from the lettuce, so that is another thing you could have them do.
As they get older, you can start showing them how to pour the milk in their cereal bowl, how they can whisk the eggs, and progressively move on from that. The important thing is not to give them something too complicated to do early on, as they could quickly lose the will to do it, and then you probably won’t ever get them to do it again.
Make It Comfortable For Them
Most of the things in the kitchen aren’t meant to be used by children, so most of them aren’t even accessible to them. So, before you even begin showing them the ropes, you have to make it comfortable for them.
Let’s say you want your kid to wash the veggies. Well, unless you want your tiny kitchen helper to hang off the sink, you’ll click here and look for a non-slip stool for them to stand on. Also, if the two of you are baking cookies, and you’re having your child make the cookie shapes – don’t let them struggle sitting on a regular chair with only their heads above the table. Get them a mini-stool and a table and have them “work” from there. This will make it so much easier for them.
Let Them Have At It
Every great cook is a creative person. None of us would know that pineapple can actually work on pizza if someone hadn’t thought of it first. On that note, you have to let your kids be creative in the kitchen. Sure, they might want to add chocolate to macaroni and cheese, but even if you know that won’t work – let them try it.
Naturally, you will have to set some boundaries because you don’t want your kid to get a tummy ache, but in most cases – just let them have at it. Let them experiment; it’ll do them good later on in life. And, who knows, they might accidentally make some old boring dish even better.
Have Them Try Out Different Foods
We all know that most kids hate broccoli, but if you have them try something delicious as they’re helping you in the kitchen – they’ll associate that lovely taste with the work they did, so they’ll come back again.
Not only will you teach your kid how to do some basic kitchen stuff, but you’ll also make them enjoy eating something other than candy, and that is very important. Most kids struggle with eating fruits and veggies, mostly because most of them always taste different, but if they acquire the taste for it early on – you won’t have a problem with it later on, and they’ll gladly join you in the kitchen.
Always Congratulate Them
Positive affirmation is essential if you want your child to remain interested in things around the kitchen. No matter what they do, whether it’s washing the veggies, cleaning the table or something else – you have to make them feel like they’ve done a great job, even if they didn’t.
Sure, they might’ve missed some spots when they were cleaning the breadcrumbs, but instead of pointing out their mistakes, tell them they’ve done an awesome job and that they’re well on their way to becoming the best breadcrumb cleaner in the world. By the tenth time they do it, they’ll do it great, and by the time they’re 20 – they’ll never leave the table without cleaning it first.
We understand that most of these things are harder said than done, but if you succeed in making it feel like a fun activity – you can be certain that even if they don’t end up being a world-renowned chef, they’ll know their way around the kitchen once they grow up.