Want to try something new with your kids this summer? Why not get them involved with making the family meals. Amy has plenty of suggestions for all ages in her article.
(Reprinted with permission. Thanks Amy!)
Teaching Kids How to Cook
by Amy Schamburek
Supervision is the key ingredient to cooking with kids. All children develop cooking skills at different rates - having an adult introduce cooking skills that match their ability is essential. Successful meal preparation by an adult and child is rewarding and strengthens relationships. Getting the entire family involved will build lasting relationships and great memories for years to come.
Children Ages 3-6 years:
- Stir ingredients in a bowl - make sure to use large spoon and large bowl.
- Wash vegetables and fruits. The kids will love playing in the sink!
- Shred lettuce for a salad - tearing large and small pieces will teach them about size
- Add ingredients to the recipe - this will teach order and organization
Children Ages 6-8 years:
- Have them set the table - this is a great way to show organization
- Use a dull knife or child safe knife to cut soft foods - teaches relationship to sizes
- Beat ingredients with a wire wisk - a great way to show how things blend to make other items
- Fill and measure cups and spoons - teaches accuracy
Children Ages 8- 10 years:
- Prepare kid safe recipes - they will love the sense of accomplishment
- Use can opener, electric beaters on low speed (with supervision only) - a great introduction of kitchen tools
- Have them place items in the microwave and choose the numbers - a great way to reinforce time and conversion
Children Ages 10-12 years:
- Use an oven with supervision - a great lesson about degrees and heat conduction
- Use a knife to cut foods (supervision is essential) - teach techniques in cutting different foods
- Use a grater to grate cheese, or other similar foods - teaches coordination
Children Ages 13-16 years:
- Prepare recipes with multiple ingredients - helps child organize kitchen skills
- Prepare recipes independently with little supervision - mastering these skills builds self-esteem and builds trust
Each child develops differently and at different rates, use this as a guideline to help build great family chefs. The rewards you will receive from family involvement will last you years to come. Most of our fondest memories center around food. Your child will appreciate the time and dedication that you have invested in their well being.
For more kitchen fun recipe ideas you might want to try these links: