As his tantrum subsided into just plain old sobbing he managed to tell me he was hungry. That might go some way to explain his meltdown over what seemed like nothing, so I jumped at the chance to fill his belly and redirect him into something more calming.
“Do you want to make yourself some fruit salad? You can do the cutting and make a bowl just for you!”
“Ok” he snuffled…
I dried his tears and set everything up while he went to wash his hands and get an apron. I got out a knife, chopping board, and a bowl and cut the selected fruit into smaller pieces. He dragged over the step stool and began happily chopping fruit and popping it in the bowl. Smiling I wandered away to fold some washing (and snap a photo or two).
Why Cook with Kids?
Cooking is almost like magic around here. Cooking seems to smooth tensions and wipe away tears. I try to remember that when I’m feel like saying no to a request to cook something.
Apart from all the developmental skills kids practice while cooking (maths, science, language, fine motor skills and more), it’s also lots of fun! The kids are learning lots of life skills too, and as your kids get older you can put all the skills they have learned to good use and have them cook dinner once a week. Taking responsibility for making food for themselves or others is so empowering, and that’s one less night you have to cook!
If you need more reasons to cook with your kids pop over and read my article with 16 Reasons to Cook With Kids.
Tips for Cooking with Kids
Including your kids while cooking is going to be harder, and take more time than doing it without them, so make sure you acknowledge that before you say yes and you’ll avoid a lot of frustration for everyone!
And start with easy, quick, low mess recipes.
Fruit salad is perfect for beginners. It’s low mess, and each child can make their own bowl of fruit salad so their is no waiting, or sharing. There is no tricky measuring, or cooking, and you get to eat your creation straight away!
No-cook recipes are also great for kids, or even helping with some steps in making dinner, rather than attempting a special recipe.
Here are some more tips and tricks to make cooking with kids run smoothly:
- A bowl with a handle to hold makes mixing things much easier for small hands.
- A butter knife or serrated plastic knife (even a disposable one) will cut lots of things but won’t cut little fingers.
- Washing hands and wearing an apron is important, so is tying up long hair so it doesn’t hang in the cake mix!
- Kids are going to want to taste things along the way. If you don’t want fingers in the cake mix, be prepared with some spoons for testing.
- Helping to cook dinner when you are in a hurry won’t end well, get them to help on a night when you are not so rushed.
- For little people a good, stable, step to stand on so they are at the right height is essential
- It’s going to be messy, accept that and prepare for it. Get the kids to help clean up, my kids love to wash dishes.
Recipes to Cook with Kids
From super simple to making dinner on their own, here are some recipes that the kids can cook with help, and eventually, on their own.
What do you like to cook with your kids??
Feel free to leave a link to a great kid friendly recipe in the comments.