There is so much that children can learn from their parents while helping prepare meals in the kitchen. In fact, we’re going to discuss ways to share your love of cooking with your kids. Many family traditions involve spending time in the kitchen, and the sooner we start with our kids, the sooner they will understand how important family meals are. From fun fashion aprons to quick snacks and to elaborate meals, we’re going to find interesting ways to encourage our children to enjoy preparing meals.
Make Meal Prep a Fun Activity
Children love challenges, it’s a truth. A fun way to have the kids participate is to present them a challenge or a contest if you will. Some ideas are as follows:
- Who can garnish the dish the best
- Who can beat the eggs the fastest
- Guess the ingredients by smelling them
- Name the herbs
- Shake the shaker
All of these challenges and games will get the kids involved with cooking. Not to mention that these are memories that they will one day pass on to their own kids.
Story time isn’t limited to bedtime. Kids love hearing stories from long ago when you were young. Make that special chicken and dumpling soup you used to make with your mom, tell them how you helped. Make the King’s soup (Cream of Chicken), who doesn’t love Kings, and Knights, Princes and Queens? As you tell the story, have the kids prep that vegetable, spoon in the ingredient, stir the pot, etc. The possibilities are endless with story time.
Dinner and a Show
Children love to dress up, and so do some adults. Invest in some fun aprons for parents and children. Have a contest for best dressed, or even find aprons from all over the world. Show them off during dinner and have a fashion show. If they are aprons from around the world have your kids tell the story of each apron and which ingredients were incorporated into the meal.
The Messier the Tastier
Some chefs will vouch for this. The messier the kitchen is, the tastier the meal. You should definitely be prepared for the mess at hand. Kids will leave floured handprints all over the place, but that’s okay here’s why:
- Have a discard bowl ready to catch peelings in
- Place newspapers or a plastic tablecloth on counters or prep table
- Make cleaning fun! – sing a song, play a game of “Where does this go?”, etc.
So it’s okay if there’s a little bit — or a lot of a mess, enjoy it, they’re only so little once.
Passing along your love of cooking to your children is a special time. There are so many ways of incorporating little hands into every meal prep. As they grow you can pass on more skills, not to mention that they will learn to have a healthy relationship with food, learn to budget, and eventually buy ingredients on their own.