Cooking with Your Children

Hands and flour

The following is written by guest blogger, Gabriella Diesendorf.

Children are “question-askers” by their very nature and there is no better place for feeding their curiosity than the one where food is made. Spending time with your kids in the kitchen will be a source of great memories in the future and it is an irreplaceable way of family bonding. Not only that, it will help them develop food preparations skills, habits of eating a healthy and balanced diet, and the love for food-making. Though including children in the cooking process seems time-demanding and requires extra attention and patience, in the long run, it’s well worth the effort.

The Benefits of Parent-Kids Culinary Endeavor

Just by being present in the kitchen and participating in the cooking process, at least as a beholder at the beginning, kids can develop a mature plate and a taste for quality and fresh ingredients. They will slowly get used to nutritious food and the chances of acquiring a taste for processed and junk foods will be minimal. Picky eaters are more likely to become open to new tastes if they can participate in the dish preparation. Being involved in such an undertaking creates a feeling of accomplishment and boosts their self-confidence. Cooking together is a great occasion to discuss nutrition and the influence of food choices to their health and the environment too. Quality family time is an additional plus.

When to Start?

Your children can become your kitchen helpers much earlier than you might think and take over some tasks based on their skills. Kids around the age of three can already measure with spoons, stir and mix, or cut out fun shapes with cookie cutters. If they start early, already at the age of six they can climb up to more responsible duties such as pealing, cracking, and separating eggs. By the age of seven, they can, with your supervision, start chopping vegetables and fruit and in some time they should be able to work through the whole recipe by themselves.

How to Avoid Losing Your Mind?

Cooking together with your kids can be rather stressful. They can become bored, loud, make a mess, etc. To avoid such issues, you can start small by giving them minimal tasks and making the experience more fun. You can begin with the simplest meal of all, breakfast. Encourage the kids to participate in choosing the dishes and the ingredients, to make them feel more involved. Aside from cooking, make sure they do some cleaning along the way and praise their every success, no matter how small.

Kitchen Safety

As with everything else regarding children, safety comes first. The kitchen is filled with sharp and dangerous objects, so you should keep them out of their reach. It’s important to use tools that are safe for your mini chefs. You can find cookware for kids on some of the websites such as Matchbox,, Gourmetfood, etc. Besides cooking tools, don’t forget to warn your helpers about dangers of heat, from hot stoves to steam coming out of the pot. Washing their hands before touching the ingredients should become a habit.

Kids-Friendly Recipes

When the time comes for your mini chefs to make a meal for you, make sure they have written down the ingredients and procedure in detail. Some of the dishes they can prepare easily are smoothies, fruit salads, bruschetta, baked potatoes, etc. Explore the rest together with your little ones, and we’ll give you the one we definitely know they’ll adore.

Simple Pita Pizzas

Ingredients: Two slices of bread (or more, depending on the number of “eaters”), ketchup or bottled pizza sauce, 2 slices of low fat cheese, 4 slices of ham

Instructions: Heat the oven to 250 degrees, smear the ketchup/pizza sauce on the slices, place the 2 slices of ham on every bread slice and then put the cheese on top. If the kids like them, they can add mushrooms, pineapple, olives, etc. Put the pitas in the oven and bake for 10 minutes top.

Cooking with your children is an investment in their future and a perfect way to spend some quality family time.

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