All Women's Talk

8 Ways to Teach Your Kids to Cook ...

By Alison

There are lots of ways to teach your kids to cook. It's an essential skill that they really should learn. Unfortunately, a lot of parents fail to pass on this simple skill, meaning that the kids grow up unable to cook even a basic meal. Don't be one of those parents! We all need to know how to cook healthy meals, so that we don't rely on junk food and ready meals. So here are some useful ways to teach your kids to cook.

1 Start Simple

One of the best ways to teach your kids to cook is to start off teaching them simple dishes. They don't need to become cordon bleu chefs! So let them watch you making basic dishes like pasta sauce or soup. Make these dishes regularly, so that they see repeatedly how it's done.

2 Get Messy

Cooking with kids usually ends up in a mess. Well, it can easily be cleared up! So don't worry about food getting everywhere. Kids love making a mess, and if they're allowed to do so in the kitchen they're likely to enjoy cooking more. Having fun will encourage them to try it again.

3 Designated Job

Children may feel more involved if you give them a particular job to do in the kitchen. It'll help them feel like they are playing an important part in preparing a meal. So let them do something (bearing safety in mind) such as measuring out quantities or fetching vegetables.

4 Let Them Try

Obviously, younger children should be kept away from knives and other sharp implements. Plus boiling water is not something they should go near. Otherwise, let them have a go at anything they want to tackle - give them a chance if they show an interest in trying something out.

5 Don't Criticise

If your kids' cakes don't rise properly, then don't tell them they made a mess of it. Criticising them will only discourage them. Instead, find something to praise, such as how they decorate the cakes. Also encourage them to keep trying so that they get better at cooking.

6 Safety Tips

Children obviously need to be supervised in the kitchen. Do make sure that they also learn the safety rules, such as not touching hot dishes or being careful on a slippery floor. The earlier that they learn these rules, the less chance of them suffering a mishap.

7 Be Inventive

Encourage your kids to be inventive when it comes to cooking. This may lead to you being treated to some bizarre dishes! However, being able to experiment will help your kids to become enthusiastic about cooking. Show them how recipes can be adapted to suit different tastes, and according to what you have in the cupboard.

8 Make It Fun

Above all, make cooking fun for your kids. This is more likely to get them interested in the subject. For example, make "faces" on pizzas, and decorate cakes with colors and patterns. Let your kids enjoy themselves in the kitchen, and they will want to discover more. It's also a great way to spend fun time with your kids.

It's best to start early when it comes to teaching your kids to cook. Leave it too long, and you risk them thinking that cooking is just a boring chore. Making your own meals is healthier and cheaper, so getting your kids interested in cooking will be good for their health and their budget. How did you learn to cook - did you teach yourself, or did you have a parent or grandmother who taught you everything you know?

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