Taking advantage of a child’s sponge-like mind when they are young will only help them to evolve, and a child learning how to navigate around the kitchen is certainly no different. Not only do they have an opportunity to hang out with you but they are learning a valuable skill that will always be needed.
Common sense must be used in this endeavor due to safety aspects that exist in the kitchen. Obviously knives, hot appliances, and hot food are all things that need to be under a close eye when teaching children at any age, but more so with smaller children. However, there are other helpful things a smaller child can do such as stirring and prepping ingredients, counting eggs, measuring ingredients, etc.
You must keep in mind that in the end there will be a mess. More than likely, the process will take longer to prepare, the measurements will probably be off the mark, and they might not look like store bought cookies, but it doesn’t matter. The cookies might not even turn out the greatest, but above all else…it’s fun! Most importantly, assure the kids they did a good job and present zero negativity in the process.
The older they get the more sophisticated and creative you can get with your children. Design or find a specific recipe that you can hand down and have your child cook it. Allow them to make modifications or additions, and in the process fueling their creativity. Aside from that, we all know eating at home is a much healthier alternative. You know exactly what was put in the food and how it got there.
The skill of cooking is something that will be with your children forever. We all need to eat no matter who we are. Teaching children at a young age will open their eyes to where food comes from, how it’s made, and what can be used together to make unique recipes. A bonus to this whole process is that your child will begin to appreciate the time you spend in the kitchen preparing food.
When children learn to cook they will also acquire the ability to try something new. They will also learn about vitamins, minerals, calories, trans fats, and other elements of food that too many people are unaware of. Not relying on someone to put food in front of you can save you frustration, money, and overall health. Who knows? Maybe in the end of the learning process your child will take direction from cooking and be the next Rachel Ray or Emeril.