Teaching your little one the importance of a home cooked meal helps him or her develop healthier habits later in life. When you guide your child through the process of selecting and preparing fresh, whole foods, he or she gains further understanding of what goes into creating a sound nutritional plan.
Before you get started, you should note that safety is key to successfully cooking with your child. Considering potential risks and implementing tools and methods to avoid them is critical. That’s why we’ve found the best tips and tricks from experts in cooking with children to help you! Check out our six tips below then get cooking with your kids!
1. Carefully plan their tasks
Your child may be more capable of completing cooking tasks than you think! The Super Healthy Kids blog suggests ten great tasks in their article “10 Cooking Skills Your Kids Should Know”. Some of these include measuring ingredients, mashing food, planning meals, and cooking rice.
2. Use the right tools
One of the tasks mentioned in the Super Healthy Kids post was cutting ingredients. Before you gasp, let us tell you that they instruct you to use kid-safe cutting tools and watching carefully. Curious Chef offers some great tools and kits to help you cook safely with children.
3. Keep germs out of your food
Every parent knows that their child is capable of creating messes of incredible proportions. This is why it’s important to teach your child to keep the mess out of the kitchen. Make sure he or she knows to wash their hands before and after each meal preparation to avoid spreading harmful germs and bacteria. Also be sure that they keep toys and other items out of the room as these are covered with outside germs.
4. Avoid Burns
Kitchen burns can get pretty serious. Avoid them by taking safety precautions near heat. The Everyday Life blog by Demand Media recommends that you turn pot handles inward and remove the food from the oven yourself. They also stress the importance of staying close and paying attention to your child during the cooking process to make sure they avoid hot surfaces.
5. Consider age groups
Your child’s age will determine which tasks are safe for them to take on in the kitchen. Home Food Safety offers up an awesome guide for determining which tasks you should assign to your child depending on his or her age.
6. Make safety lessons fun
Your child will be better able to remember necessary safety rules if you make the learning process fun. The same article in Home Food Safety provides resources for puzzles, word scrambles, and quizzes to help you teach your child important kitchen safety rules.
Cooking with an older child
If your child is old enough to cook on his or her own, keeping an eye on things from afar is a great way to keep things safe while giving them some room to grow and learn. Check out the izon cam to monitor your home while your older child cooks on his or her own!