Image by Chris Emeott Photography
In the year since the COVID-19 pandemic began, families have been spending a lot more time at home together. For many parents with young children, it’s been a unique opportunity to get their little ones more involved around the house, including cooking meals together in the kitchen.
Exposure to culinary skills at a young age not only sets your kids up for success as they grow up, but it can help them gain a deeper appreciation for the food they eat. Here are five tips (and some easy recipes!) for cooking with your kids at home.
How to get your kids involved in meal prep and cooking
1. Choose simple recipes that are easy to assemble.
Easy recipes with simple ingredients are ideal for a family activity. Dishes like pancakes, tacos, sliders, cookies, and personal pizzas can be fun to assemble and personalize, while one-pot/dish recipes like pasta, stews, and casseroles allow the whole family to work together to create a single, cohesive meal.
2. Give them age-appropriate, safe preparation tasks.
Based on your child’s age and maturity level, make sure you assign them prep tasks that are appropriate and safe. The littlest ones can mix ingredients, while older children may be able to handle precise measurements and peeling vegetables. As the parent, always take over tasks like handling sharp knives and hot ovens or stovetops.
3. Bring your child to your level.
If your children are small, get them a step stool so they can reach the counter and cooking space with you. Getting them fully involved means bringing them up to the same level as the grown-ups so they can see everything that’s going on!
4. Emphasize good hygiene.
Cooking can be messy business, and preparing a meal together can be a good opportunity to teach your kiddos about foodborne illnesses and proper culinary hygiene. Have them wash their hands before, during, and after the cooking process, and show them the proper way to handle ingredients like raw meat to avoid cross-contamination.
5. Let them plate the dish.
Presentation is just as important as the dish itself, so why not let your little ones help you plate the food before it’s served to the family? They can artfully arrange vegetables, drizzle sauces and garnishes, or place cookies neatly on a serving platter. Snap a photo of their masterpiece so you can remember the special meal you prepared together.
6. Make sure everyone pitches in during clean-up.
Once the meal is over and everyone has enjoyed their culinary creations, it’s time to clean up! Teach your kids responsibility while getting help with tasks like loading the dishwasher, putting away cookware, and taking out the trash.
Get cooking together with our at-home baking kits!
Want an easy way to help your little chefs build their cooking skills? The Cookie Cups offers all-inclusive at-home baking kits that come with all the pre-measured dry ingredients and equipment you need to prepare your own sweet and savory meals at home.
Order our Unicorn Cookie Cups Baking Kit, Pizza Making Kit, and Rainbow Ravioli Making Kit (in stock April 2021) here at thecookiecups.com or on Amazon and start cooking up something delicious together!