How Do I Cook With My Kids and Not Go Crazy?
There are so many benefits to cooking with kids in the kitchen. It’s quality time that can be spent together but also teaches them many critical life skills during the process as well. Getting started can be a bit of a struggle sometimes. Knowing what is appropriate based on their age, finding a healthy recipe to cook with them, or figuring out ways to involve kids in the kitchen can get tricky (and let’s face it kind of intimidating) when you actually get into it.
Resources To Help You Start Cooking With Kids
I recently found some great resources to help answer all of these questions! These provide some answers and ideas bringing kids in the kitchen to not only learn but help you out.
Fit Mama Real Food
This site has a page dedicated specifically to cooking with kids and she has some super helpful resources on the topic!
Heather offers some great tips and advice. She’s a mom of four so you know life has to be hectic and she can understand the challenges that come up with bringing kids into the kitchen to help.
Food Network Recipes with Kids
Another great resource is Food Network, with their Cooking with Kids section which offers recipes to make with kids, as well as ideas on kitchen task and easy baking projects.
Kids Health from Nemours
Nemours is a trusted health resource and offers some advice on Cooking with Kids as well. Here are some of their suggestions:
- Pick the Right time
Create opportunities for cooking with your kids when you aren’t short on time. If someone is hangry, it’s probably not a good time to try it.
- Find Your Strategy
Prep work- Depending on your child/s age it can be easier if you do some prep work that could be pre-measuring for little ones, or pre-cutting things.
- Set expectations
Most things work better when you set up the expectations upfront and this is no exception. Explain the boundaries and rules of the kitchen. If there’s a task an adult must complete let them know upfront.
- Start Small
Keep it simple at first and let them complete a task that is small and easy to do with minimal assistance. This allows kids to build their skills slowly and the more you do it the more challenging the task can become.
- Don’t Forget Breaks
Kids don’t have the longest of attention spans sometimes so it’s good to keep this in mind. For younger kids, it’s a good idea to give them a little bit of a break understanding they may not be ready to follow through from start to finish.
- Acknowledge Their Work
Don’t forget to provide encouragement and affirm their accomplishments. Be as specific/descriptive as possible with how they are doing a good job. For example, instead of just “great job!” you could say, “you did a great job mixing all the ingredients together and making sure they are all combined!” If something goes wrong, remind them it happens to everyone, and as long as they learn from it.
Kitchen Tools For Kids
Here are some tools from Amazon that are helpful and kid-friendly!
There are so many memories and lessons that are learned in the kitchen that kids will hold on to for years to come. It can be overwhelming and frustrating at times, so remember when those moments come, it’s not just you. There will be really fun and good moments too. The good moments will do your heart better than you can imagine!
Feeling overwhelmed with motherhood? Check out the post below!