We have just been back from a breathtaking experience holidaying in Georgia. I have so many stories from our trip to share with you all, along with countless pictures. But first I would like to share with you all some recipes to cook/prepare with your children, especially the little ones. With this post I will begin sharing the benefits of cooking with kids with all mothers out there.
We often shun away kids from the kitchen thinking what can they do to help us. Mostly we think of all the spills and mess that might break out when they do something. Surely, it will stretch your cooking time by 10-15 minutes when you let your child help in with the tasks you do with such ease, finesse and perfection every day. But once you allow kids in the kitchen you will surprised at how better you connect with them and how out of the box kids think.
As Little M entered big school, he would often tag along with me in the kitchen whenever I am cooking, asking and sometimes pestering me to let him help. Every time he would come asking if I he can help me, I would be horrified to imagine huge spills and mess mountains in my little kitchen and tell him to go play with his toys with that thought.
Reluctant at first, I gradually handed him simple tasks to take care of such as handing me the vegetables/fruits from the fridge, washing the veggies, buttering the bread, whipping up milk shake using a hand blender (under my supervision). Let me tell you these tasks might all sound very easy to an adult but for a child to be able to do these tasks is a different ball game altogether. It fills them and you both, with pride and a sense of achievement. Through this series I look forward to share with you all the simple recipes Little M (4 years) and I whip up together in the kitchen.
He cannot contain his excitement whenever I ask him to come in the kitchen to help me. His giggles and happy dance that he keeps putting up in the middle of the process is my most cherished reward. Little M has now started to crack eggs and though he is not mastered the art of egg cracking without spills, he is getting better with each attempt.
Here are some of the advantages (in order to encourage all parents) for inviting their kids in the kitchen:
- Perfect bonding time.
- Make fond memories for your children to look back at.
- Learning by doing.
- Sense of achievement, builds self-confidence that they helped put together a meal or they contributed in the family work.
- Learn the importance of cooking fresh and healthy food.
- More likely to eat what they helped cook or put together.
- Allows them to take their own decisions. For example, choosing and deciding if they want carrots or cucumber for the salad or both.
- Learning to cook is a life skill that kids will benefit from for the rest of their lives.
- Kids are less likely to sit in front of TV or ask for Ipad if they are happily engaged in the kitchen with you.
I guess these reasons were more than enough to convince me to let Little M into the kitchen often. However, I would advise to keep a few things in mind always when cooking with kids, especially the little ones:
- Start with basic recipes, especially with smaller children. Such as a sandwich, fruit salad, milkshakes or smoothies.
- Don't allow kids near the burner. I haven't yet allowed Little M to step near the gas or do something on it.
- Don't hand them knives and other sharp equipment they might get hurt with. Even if they want to do some chopping hand them a plastic knife and give soft foods to work with. For example, avocado, banana or tomato.
- If in case you're handing them hand blender or a toaster or a mixer, NEVER leave their side and keep a close watch.
I would urge all parents to let kids in the kitchen and begin making memories along with some delicious food.
Stay tuned for some simple recipe ideas to start cooking with kids!
Thanks for reading!