Kids in the Kitchen: Recipes & Tips
· Patience is a Virtue. As with all activities involving children, keeping your cool is of the utmost importance. Be prepared that cooking with kids will take longer and be much (much!) messier than going it alone.
· Simple Delicious Dishes. Choose a simple kid-friendly recipe that will please their palates – bonus points for getting them involved with the selection! Check out Kidspot’s amazing array of easy to make meals, snacks and goodies.
· Preparation is Key. Organize the ingredients in advance so everything is ready and easily accessible. Ensure that you’ve set aside ample time for your kids to prep the ingredients, make the dish and clean up.
· Tools of the trade. Be sure to have a few junior chef staples in your kitchen. A small paring knife, cutting board secured to the counter with a damp towel underneath and a slip free stool are all you need to teach your kids how to chop safely. Check out Jamie Oliver’s one-minute video to learn more.
· Talk Nutrition. While you’re chopping, stirring and blending, take the opportunity to discuss healthy food choices with your children. Kids will be much more engaged and willing to try new healthy food, when they’re involved in the process.
· Hygiene Matters. Teach your kids about the importance of food prep hygiene. Wash hands and disinfect surfaces before, during and after. Keep perishable foods fresh and ensure meats are cooked to appropriate temperatures.
· Clean As You Go. Demonstrate how to clean up while you’re cooking, so that your kids aren’t overwhelmed with a massive mess at the end of their project. Keep a bowl on the counter for kitchen scraps, wipe down the counter and clean your knife after every task, are a few ‘clean as you go’ tips.
· Step Back & Encourage. Give your kids the freedom to try cooking techniques on their own, but be ready to step-in if/when they get frustrated. Offer lots of encouragement, and try to refrain from providing endless ‘tips’ – unless your kids request them.
· Reap the Rewards. Sit down and enjoy the results together. Talk about what your kids liked about cooking, what they learned, and what they’d like to make next time.
-by Mhairri Woodhall