Cooking with Kids, Pt 1

Posted by on Jul 28, 2014 in Blog, Frontpage | Comments Off

Cooking with Kids, Pt 1

From the view point of a professional chef and mom, just the thought of teaching my kids how to cook makes me want to pull out my hair. Food is a very vital part of our daily lives and with the emergence of more television programs as well as the food network’s Master Chef, Jr.,  it is no wonder that more kids want to be in the kitchen, trying their hands. I have come up with a list of strategies to help you keep your sanity as you allow your young chefs to explore their creative side.Justin decorating

 

  • If you are not a patient person by nature, this is a good time to start praying for patience, you will need it, especially if you are a professional chef or baker.
  • Start small. Make a plan and if you have more than one child, now would be a good time to create a kitchen schedule, ensuring that each child get at least one day in the kitchen with you – one on one. It also helps with creating tighter bonds.
  • Outline some basic kitchen rules and put them where they can be easily seen.

-    You may want to go over them with the kids to make sure that they understand those rules.

-   Don’t make the rules negotiable; their safety is your # 1 priority.

-   Talk to them about the kitchen equipment and make them understand that they cannot use them without the supervision of an adult.

  • Create a kids’ cooking station at the dinner table or counter and let them know that this is their work station. When it is time to cook, this is where they will do their part.
  • Create the menu together. Encourage kids to explore cookbooks and websites for recipes. The more invested they are in the meal, the less likely they’ll whine about it.
  • Give yourself plenty of time and multitask. Take advantage of those long days off from school and find a few recipes for them to cook that just happen to result in a family dinner.
  • Praise them. Providing for our kin is such a primal urge that kids feel an immediate sense of pride and self-worth when they feed their families, so make sure to gush over their hard work.
  • Keep cleaning equipment close by. Enlist kids in the cleanup and remind them that when you clean as you work, there will be less to clean at the end of cooking and this will make the experience more pleasant for everyone — and it teaches them another essential life skill!
  •  Accept that not all kids like to cook. Your non-cooking kids can still contribute to the meal by setting the table, folding napkins, deciding which platters to use, garnishing the dishes, clearing the table and tasting each dish to determine if it needs additional seasoning.