Boy with Foccacia

Cooking with Kids

Making Cheese Sauce

Its never too early to get Cooking with Kids

Ok, I know its not easy being the perfect parent these days, and lots of us struggle to find the time to cook for ourselves never mind start teaching the kids, but cooking with kids teaches an important life skill and will reap its rewards later in life, and help your kids earn their independence in the kitchen, and they can feed you when you are grey and old ­čÖé Kids are also more likely to eat what they make themselves.

Nice and Easy

Cooking with kids doesn´t have to be complicated and what they can do will depend on the child.  Some kids will enjoy helping in the kitchen more than others.  Start with simple things, here are a few ideas:-

For younger children, under 5

  • Cutting out cookies – Plastic is Best, make sure there are no sharp edges.
  • Mixing things in bowls,
  • Adding toppings to pizzas
  • Washing the salad leaves
  • Podding peas
  • Pouring cold liquids
  • Setting the table with condiments and place mats
  • Picking herbs
  • Decorating Cakes and cupcakes with sprinkles or cut out shapes.
  • Icing cakes with spreadable or runny icing.
  • Get them to crank the handle of the pasta machine while you feed through the pasta

For Children from 5 to 10 years OldCooking with Kids Focaccia Photo

  • Weigh ingredients
  • Use measuring spoons
  • Spooning cake mix into cupcake cases
  • Measure and weigh ingredients
  • Use blenders and mixers under supervision
  • Pour cake mix into tins and even out
  • Make patterns with forks, say in mash for the cottage pie
  • Set the knives and forks on the table
  • Grating and Peeling under supervision – make sure they watch their fingers
  • Kneading dough

Ten and Over

When cooking with kids in the kitchen, only you can gauge when you child is capable enough of doing more difficult tasks like chopping and slicing using sharp knives, you may think 10 is too young, or that your child is capable way before that age.  The main thing is to always supervise when you are cooking with kids.

Health and Safety

Remember this is just a guide.  The main thing to remember when cooking with kids is health and safety, boring maybe, but things that come naturally to you when you are cooking kids will not even think about.  Set out the ground rules straight away.

Start by getting kids to wash their hands before they start anything, wearing an apron to protect their clothes is a good idea, (if you can get them to wear it!)

  • Make sure knives are always visible, not hidden in the sink or under a teatowel
  • Get them to keep all worksurfaces clean, tidy up after themselves and wash up their things and teach them how to use the dishwasher if you have one.
  • The most important and obvious is making sure kids are supervised at all times.
  • Stress the importance of using different chopping boards for, fish, meat, vegetable and cooked food and make sure they wash their hands after handling different types of food, particularly raw and cooked food.
  • Always use clean dishcloths and tea towels
  • Get them to put away their crockery and utensils, so they know where to find them in the future

You will be able to assess when you child is old enough to take on tasks at the stove.  See how they work before you leave your kids unsupervised to cook.  Make sure they follow basic rules like, tucking in pan handles on the stove, safely using graters, knives and equipment, don´t get sidetracked texting their mates and never leave kids home alone to cook, just in case they need your help.

If you would like more information and recipe ideas, here are some links, these  books all rate well on Amazon UK

Cook with Kids
Baking With Tiny Tots: Over 50 Easy Recipes That You and Your Child Can Make Together
Children’s First Cookbook: Have Fun in the Kitchen!

Do you cook with your kids, how old are they and what do they like doing?  Is there anything you would like to add to my lists? Make a comment below and let us know, I would love to hear from you.

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