5 tips for cooking with your kids

Whether you just finished culinary academy or prepare meals for your family seven days a week, letting your kids help you cook can be a great bonding experience. Children love learning new things and can have fun creating tasty dishes in the kitchen. Here are five tips for cooking with your kids:

Start small
If your child is very young, don't assign tasks that are too complicated. For example, if you are making chicken stir-fry, have him or her rinse off the vegetables. If you give your little one too much responsibility at first, it may slow down your meal preparation and create frustration. You can assign bigger duties as your child gets older.

Choose a simple recipe
When it's your child's first time cooking, it isn't a good idea to make anything too complex. If you have your kid help you prepare lasagna or Beef Wellington, it might scare him or her away from the kitchen for a while. A simple yet tasty recipe to try is ham and pineapple pita pizzas. To make this recipe from Real Simple, you just need 4 pitas, 8 ounces of sliced deli ham, 1 8-ounce sliced ball of mozzarella and 1 8-ounce can of pineapple chunks. To create the dish, follow these steps:

1. Heat your oven to 425 degrees.
2. Lay pitas on a baking sheet. Cover them with ham, mozzarella and pineapple.
3. Cook for 10-12 minutes.

Keep dangerous cooking tools out of reach
To prevent accidents, keep dangerous cooking tools, such as knives, food processors, igniters and kitchen scissors, away from your children. When you feel like your kids are old enough to use these tools, make sure to thoroughly train them on how to handle the utensils.

Teach kids about food hygiene
Do not forget to show your children the importance of hygiene in the kitchen. Teach them to wash their hands beforehand and in between handling raw and cooked foods. Explain that proper food hygiene can prevent illness.

Don't stress about the mess
If it's your child's first time cooking, expect him or her to make a mess. Don't make a big deal about it, and just let your little one have fun. When you're finished preparing the meal, have your child help you clean up.

If you make cooking fun for your child, he or she will love helping you prepare meals. 

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