Tips for Cooking with Your Kids–and Having Fun
It’s going to take awhile yet for the weather to warm up, and that means playing outside isn’t going to be an option much of the time. But that doesn’t mean you and the kids have to stay in feeling cooped up. Instead go stir crazy in a positive way by cooking with your kids. It’s not only a fun activity that will keep both you and your kids engaged, but it will also be imparting a valuable life skill that they’ll appreciate for all of their lives. Here are some tips for cooking with the littles.
How to Have the Best Time Cooking with Kids
- Enjoy the Art of Slow Food: You know how it always seems to take quite a bit longer than the recipe says to complete the prep time? Now double that, because everything is going to take a whole lot longer with kids involved. It usually does for most things. Just be prepared and relax, enjoying the slower pace in the kitchen. This is not the time for a harried rush to get a meal on the table.
- Throw Out the Kids’ Rule Book: Serena Ball, a dietician and writer for the Food Network, recommends a host of tips that would seem to contradict common sense. At the top of her list? Always use the sharpest knives. Of course do so with very careful supervision and only letting children handle cutting tasks you are certain they are ready for, but sharp knives are actually safer than dull ones, and by introducing kids to the important tool, you’ll be teaching them a lot, without dumbing it down. Other surprising tips Serena recommends: touch everything, lick the spoon and enjoy getting messy.
- Keep the Adult Rule Book: I don’t know about you, but while I know I should gather and lay out all my ingredients before I get started, and carefully read the entire recipe straight through before I begin cooking, I often skip these steps in my impatience to get going. Here’s your chance to get your kids started with excellent cooking habits while they’re young. Have fun teaching your kids about the value of a mise en place and let recipe reading stand in for a different kind of story reading.