Cooking is something that everyone should learn to do and if you have kids, get them into the kitchen early! Kids are naturally curious and learning about food presents many fun opportunities for them to learn valuable skills. Even small children can get involved in the kitchen and do the tiniest jobs. If you’re thinking about turning your kids into little sous chefs, here are the top ways to get them interested in cooking.
Take Kids Grocery Shopping
One of the best ways to get kids interested in food is to take them grocery shopping. A trip through your supermarket is a wonderful educational opportunity for kids of all ages. Teach them about fruits and vegetables, different meats, grains, dairy products, and spices. Show them how to pick out ripe fruit and which cuts of meat are the best. Make sure each shopping trip includes at least one new food to try.
Teach Them How To Bake
Chances are, some of your best cooking memories revolve around something delicious like fresh-baked cookies. Get your kids on the baking bandwagon by searching for the best baking recipes and showing them how easy it is. Let kids sift flour, scoop sugar, and measure out spices. Older kids can crack eggs and use a hand mixer. Learning to bake is a lifelong skill and one that kids should learn at an early age.
Give Children Kitchen Chores
Preparing a meal entails lots of other small jobs, and giving kids kitchen chores will set the foundation for cooking. For example, show them the proper way to set a table. Give them jobs such as drying dishes, unloading the dishwasher, or organizing the pantry. If your child is old enough, allow them to cut up veggies and prep ingredients. Chores get kids familiar with how a kitchen runs and teaches them responsibility.
Grow A Vegetable Garden
What better way to get your kids interested in cooking than showing them where food comes from in the first place? Growing a vegetable garden is highly rewarding for kids because they’re involved in every step from planting and watering to harvesting. Select fast-growing vegetables for small children such as radishes, carrots, and beans. Zucchini and pumpkins are also fun for kids to watch.
You can also grow an herb garden right in your kitchen. Find a sunny window and plant basil, oregano, and thyme in tiny pots. Your kids will love checking them every day and waiting for them to spout.
Make Food A Family Affair
Parents that cook together naturally have kids that want to get involved. Make cooking time a family affair by assigning everyone a job, and then adding extra fun such as singing to music or preparing a special dessert. You can also take some food-related field trips like checking out an apple orchard, going berry picking, or visiting a dairy farm.
Your kids and the kitchen are two things that absolutely go together. Encourage a lifelong love of cooking by showing them how to bake, shop for food and grow a successful garden.