Are you often fearful of cooking with kids? You don’t have to be! Once you try it a few times, you will find it really is quite simple. You will want to keep a few things in mind, starting with a plan is a good place to begin. You will also want to choose the right recipes to begin with, and follow these other tips to limit your frustration and enjoy your experience cooking with kids!
Before You Start
- Make sure the kids know your expectations and rules. Explain to them what they can and cannot do and can and can not touch. Depending on their age, you might even want to go into detail on the why – like they might get sick.
- Have a completely clean countertop, kitchen island or table workplace. If I have papers or items important to me near where they are working, I start to stress. If you have a clean area, you don’t worry or stress about food landing on something that you don’t want it touching!
- Clearly state the plan. How is each child going to help? Think realistically about what a 2 year old will be a good at, before you divvy up the jobs. Let them know what their job is (they love responsibility!).
- Define a set time and place for when everyone will enjoy the fruits of what you are making! For instance, you might say, “after we are finished, children who wash their hands and then sit at the table waiting patiently will be served.”
Teach Them How To Use Knives
Don’t be afraid of some of the scary things, like knives. Teach them slowly and carefully, starting them with a simple dinner knife or plastic knife that won’t do any harm. Stay with them as they use it and teach them how to curl their fingers under to keep them safe!
Expect A Mess
Expect a mess. If you expect a clean kitchen and don’t get it—which you likely won’t!—it could be stressful. There is one thing for certain, cooking with kids will not be perfect and will not be clean. So just do yourself a favor and expect a mess. Practice being calm and carefully and gently cleaning up. Use phrases like, “It’s no big deal!”
Recipes to Start With
Start inviting your kids to join you in the kitchen when they are only one or two years old. You know your child and you will know what they will enjoy helping you with the most! Here are some recipes that I find the easiest for those younger ages.
- Energy Bites
- Frozen Yogurt Bites
- Cherry Wink Christmas Cookies (with this recipe use a banana instead of raw egg, so you don’t have to worry about them licking their fingers!)
As your children get older (even at just five years old), you can easily teach your child to make scrambled eggs or even fried eggs breakfast. Pancakes are a good one to start with too. It won’t be long, until your kids are able to help you prepare many things in the kitchen, like these simple dinner recipes.
It’s as simple as that! Now go have some fun!!!