Getting kids involved in the kitchen

One of my fondest memories as a child was spending time in the kitchen with my mother and grandmother.  We were cooking apple pies:  I got to put on an apron, roll the dough with a rolling pin, mix the apples with sugar and cinnamon, while sneaking a few for snacks along the way. Little did I know, it was the beginning of a beautiful relationship with cooking and food. Now that I am a mom, I try to involve my daughter in the kitchen as often as I can.  Cooking and preparing food is an everyday occurrence in most households, so why not try and let your kids to help and learn along the way.

When your child helps with planning, shopping, choosing the ingredients, preparing and cooking their meals, they are more likely to eat it.  I have found, even if the food turns out a funny colour, or is a different flavour then their palate is used to, they tend to be a little more adventurous if they were involved in the preparation process.

Having your child involved in the cooking process allows for a smooth transition into conversations about health and healthy ingredients.  They are able to see and taste the difference between fresh and processed ingredients, and this provides opportunities to explain why eating good food is important.

When your child takes a bite out of something that they made from start to end (with your assistance) they develop a sense of pride.  Seeing the whole process through and creating something helps to increase their self-confidence.  Yes, having kids in the kitchen can be a slow and messy situation, however, it’s a small price to pay to see that smile of accomplishment on your child’s face.

Cooking is a basic life skill.  They may not use it by themselves when they are home, but one day when they are out on their own, they will know how to take care of themselves. Your children will not be afraid of the kitchen, they can read a recipe, they will know that you need to boil the water before adding the pasta to the pot, they will pick up on kitchen safety lessons.  Be safe around knives and hot pots.

All in all, it should be fun.  Spending quality family time in the kitchen and creating memories for your children they will cherish for years to come.

Try having your kids form the shapes of our Veggie Tots Recipe.