professionals say that cooking with kids can be fun for the whole family with a
few simple safety rules and basic organization. The payoff? Encouraging children
to enjoy cooking can help nurture a lifelong love of good food and eating well.
say that having children in the kitchen can be a fun experience for all involved
with a little careful planning. If you're working with young children under
five, give them simple jobs such as using cookie cutters or decorating a plate
with garnishes like herbs or flowers they can gather in a garden. For older
children, most can use small paring knives close to the size of their hands to
cut simple shapes from vegetables or fruits.
matter what a child's age, close supervision is the most important safety
consideration and teaching a child respect for the heat of an oven or a stove.
Any child that needs to stand on a stool to use an oven shouldn't be using one.
Chefs recommend that adults make sure to use the right size pots and pans to
avoid splatter, and to keep handles pointed toward the back of the stove.
helping kids appreciate good food and cooking techniques, let them do all the
measuring. It's a great way to reinforce math skills. That way, it can be both
fun and beneficial for the kids.
kids even at an early age the important kitchen basics that -- with practice --
they will continue to use as adults. Tell your children that good food starts
with good safety and sanitary habits. Teach them the importance of washing hands
thoroughly with soap and warm water before beginning to cook and keeping work
areas clean by washing down surfaces with a sponge and warm water, before and
natural cooks and they have energy to spare. But they like to be kept busy in
the kitchen, not just watching. No matter how well organized you are, kitchens
get messy when children cook, but that's part of the fun. Encourage them to stop
and clean up as they go along, clean cooking surfaces, and put ingredients away
once they've been used.
understand the value of the food they eat by teaching them about nutrition, and
keeping the lessons fun. Try playing nutrition bingo using black beans to mark
the spaces, and quiz kids about the food pyramid. They will learn that they need
to eat grains and vegetables several times a day and save the sugars for special
treats. Encourage the children to think about what healthy snacks are all about.
Introduce foods like fresh fruits and granola.
likes to eat, it's a common interest we all have. When children are invited into
the kitchen as active participants and they see how much fun cooking can be,
they are learning wonderful lessons about eating well that will serve them all