Helpful Tips For Cooking With Children
If you’re a parent who cooks a lot and has children, then you’ve probably seen your little ones express a desire to help out. Not only can this be a fun and rewarding experience for kids, but they will also learn a valuable skill they can use for the rest of their lives.
However, before outfitting them with a junior-sized apron and chef’s hat, there are a number of best practices that should be followed that will encourage learning, promote safety and ensure the meal they’re assisting with is cooked to perfection.
Expect the mess
Unlike adults who are experienced moving around the kitchen, for children, this is a whole new world to them. That said, while many parents understand that cooking isn’t always the most meticulous process, when children are involved, BBC’s Good Food blog wrote that there is an even greater chance for spills and other messes. The website suggested putting a tablecloth on floors, table and countertops where children will be stationed. Of course, when cooking with kids, making a mess can be fun. However, they won’t be the ones doing the cleaning, the adult will. So, it’s important to make your job in this area as a parent easier.
Most children have a very limited concept of what it takes to prepare a delicious meal. As a parent, it is your job to teach them every step of the process, the most important of which is proper cleaning of food and hand washing. This is especially needed if they are going to handle raw meat of any kind, or in the event that something accidentally drops on the floor. Instilling the importance of cleanliness in children at all times during the cooking processes is vital.
Use a safety knife
Chopping food is a step in the cooking process that kids will likely find enjoyable. However, parents must not only closely supervise them at this time, but also provide them with cutlery designed for little ones that mitigates the chances a serious injury can occur. The Kitchn website listed a number of kid-friendly knives that can be purchased at a local retailer or online. Many of these cutlery pieces come equipped with soft, easy to grip handles that can be used whether your child is left-handed or right-handed. In addition, many of these knives also come in fun, bright colors that children will enjoy using. Most are dishwasher safe and there are even a few BPA-free options available as well.
Teach recipes step by step
Whether an adult or child, the best way to prepare the perfect meal is to follow recipes to the letter. The Good Food blog suggested that parents who are teaching small children to cook should talk their little helpers through each step of the recipe. This helps them gain a better understanding of the process and they will most likely retain what they’ve learned and be able to accomplish certain tasks on their own the next time around.