Cooking with kids is fun and interesting for everyone as it gives you the opportunity to bond and enjoy some great quality time together. As well as having fun and occupying valuable time on a rainy day, cooking with your children teaches many different life skills and lessons, resulting in a great sense of achievement, and a creation they will be extremely proud of.
Here are our top tips that will help you both get the most out of cooking together.
- Plan ahead – Select a recipe that they will enjoy preparing and eating, with the opportunity to really get involved! One with plenty of appropriate activities of measuring, mixing and selecting ingredients. With older children, you can let them take control whilst observing, for example reading through the recipe and taking out the appropriate tools. With younger children, try and prepare the tricky tasks first. Talk through the recipes, processes and ingredients, explaining how, why and where. This really helps enhance the learning process and a great way to incorporate science, geography and maths in an easy, practical way.
- Prepare – Prepare for mess and prepare that everything will take slightly longer than usual, so don’t rush, and don’t start on an empty stomach! You can prepare by putting down a plastic mat or tablecloth, although half the fun is in the mess. You can then clean up together afterwards. To save on washing, wear aprons or clothes you don’t mind getting messy.
- Hygiene – Ensure you stress the importance of washing hands before and after cooking, handling raw food and tying back long hair. Wipe down surfaces together and remove any clutter so you have a clean work area.
- Responsible Cooking – Make sure recipes and tasks are suited to the appropriate age and capabilities, and never leave a child or burning pan unattended.
- Have fun! – The whole process of cooking and learning should be a fun and relaxed activity. If you or your child is nervous, start with something simple and straightforward.
Let us know how your first family cooking experience goes, and if you have any tips of the trade, please share!