5 Ways to Get Your Kids in the Kitchen
Believe it or not, kids love to get into the kitchen. You might not love it, but they do. They naturally love a mess, using tools and being made to feel important and so when you enlist them to help you prepare a meal, they can indulge in all of those activities. And if you approach it with a relaxed and open attitude, there will be a lot of laughter and moments to cherish, guaranteed. Getting your kids to join you in the kitchen is way easier than you think. The following are five tips to get your kids to help you in the kitchen and develop their signature recipes so that they became popular with your family.
Go Grocery Shopping Together to Buy the Recipe’s Ingredients
I know that telling you to take your kids with you to the supermarket might bring up visions of tantrums, tears and a frazzled mom! But that’s simply because we expect our kids to come with us and just follow us around without any clear role. And kids thrive on clarity and being made to feel like they can be involved in adult activities. So one of the keys to making a trip to the supermarket successful is letting your children choose the recipe they would like to help cook; write down the ingredients and go on an ingredient hunting game at the grocery store. Select the isles to browse together to map your way in and out of the supermarket and be precise in what you are going to buy so everyone gets to buy something. Shopping for fruits and vegetables is the most fun because the kids get very excited when they can select the produce and weigh it.
Buy Your Kids Personalized Aprons
Buy personalized aprons for your kids. They can be their favorite color or aprons with their names and “mommy’s assistant chef” embroidered on them. You can also buy them chef hats, which kids find super cool and make them feel like real chefs.
Dedicate One Cabinet in the Kitchen for Kid-Friendly Cooking Tools
Kids enjoy playing around with things, but in the kitchen, this could be really dangerous. To encourage them to explore, I created a kid-friendly kitchen cabinet, which has all the tools and equipment that are safe for the kids to use. Explain to them that they can use whatever is found in this cabinet whenever they want, as they are safe and do not require mommy’s permission. This gives the children a sense of ownership and boosts their confidence in terms of what they can do.
Start With Something Simple
Slicing up fruits and vegetables with kid-friendly knives was my children’s first encounter with the kitchen. This is always a safe option and they get creative with styling the fruits and vegetable platter. My 9-year-old son prepares his school snack of fruits all by himself, daily. Another simple and quick meal your kids can learn to make is breakfast eggs. But this will require your constant supervision at the stove top. My son also makes the best omelette ever with tomatoes and mushrooms that’s become our official Friday morning breakfast.
Creating a Meal-Cooking Assembly Line
Every member of the family should have a significant role in the kitchen. For example, mommy usually handles anything that has to do with the stove or any of the electronic appliances in the kitchen; someone can be in charge of serving the food and someone else sets the table. That way, the meal becomes a collective effort by all family members.
Let me know how you get on with these tips!
Dana Dinnawi is an Integrative Nutrition health coach specializing in empowering women to improve their health and family life. She received her training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where she studied more than one hundred dietary theories and a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. She can be reached through her website and Facebook page.