So think back, did you help prepare family meals when you were younger? If you did, do you remember the feeling it gave you? It was like you were “big” for helping prepare the family meal.
I want to encourage you to have your children help in the kitchen. Sure many times you can get things done faster without them underfoot but the memories you build (as well as the feeling of being loved and needed). I never said it was about needing the help.
I just wanted to remind you that it doesn’t have to be a big task that you give them. Think mix, pour, pat or “knead” for younger ones. As they get older give them more and more and soon they will be able to mix up a batch of pancakes from scratch (and I don’t mean a box mix). I love it when my daughter makes me breakfast!
Also, be creative. Can two ingredients in your recipe just be mixed by your child in a separate bowl so they can be busy while you move on to a more complex part? Is there something they can cut (yes I said cut) for you? At our house we have these wonderful knives from The Pampered Chef called My Safe Cutter. Now picture you are making mashed potatoes and need to cube potatoes. You cut the potatoes in strips and let your child cube them with their special knife (stress knife safety here….they can only use their special knife and only when you tell them). Oh, by the way, this knife is great to use with clay or Play Dough.
To encourage you to take the time and endure extra cleanup if you have y0unger kids, here is some information from WebMD.com about Cooking With Your Children:
Indeed, cooking with kids can be the gift that keeps on giving; it has both short-term and long-term payoffs.
Some of the short-term benefits:
- It encourages kids to try healthy foods.
- Kids feel like they are accomplishing something and contributing to the family.
- Kids are more likely to sit down to a family meal when they helped prepare it.
- Parents get to spend quality time with their kids.
- Kids aren’t spending time in front of the TV or computer while they’re cooking.
- Kids generally aren’t eating junk food when they’re cooking a meal at home.
Some long-term benefits:
- Learning to cook is a skill your children can use for the rest of their lives.
- Kids who learn to eat well may be more likely to eat healthfully as adults.
- Positive cooking experiences can help build self-confidence.
- Kids who cook with their parents may even be less likely to abuse drugs.
To read the full article, go here.
My friend thought so highly on the importance of cooking with your children, she created a company in her local community that provides meals kits with instructions for the busy corporate mom (well…busy families in general) to help them find the time to cook with their children. Click here to read Thyme to Share’s report on the many benefits of cooking with kids.
So with this holiday season upon us, how can your child help prepare a dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years?