Cooking is a basic life skill essential for everyone. It can help children develop critical life skills such as following instructions, measuring ingredients, and practising kitchen safety. Meal preparation can promote a sense of responsibility and independence and act as a fun and bonding activity for families. Cooking with your kids is a golden opportunity for you to spend quality time with your children while teaching them essential life skills and creating some cherished memories. But it can get a bit stressful for parents as children take a while to grasp concepts and are messy. Here are a few tips for parents to make cooking more enjoyable and rewarding.
Try not to make cooking a burden on your kids. Keep it simple so they know and understand what’s going on. Choose recipes that are easy to follow and require only a few ingredients. This will help keep kids engaged and interested in the cooking process.
Kitchen safety is essential for kids as it is a place where accidents can happen easily. To keep your kids safe, an adult should always supervise them and teach them to wash their hands after handling food.
You should also teach your kids to use knives and other sharp objects safely, and to use oven mitts or potholders to handle hot items. Additionally, they should wear proper clothing and use child-friendly kitchen tools to reduce the risk of injury. These tips can help kids stay safe in the kitchen while learning valuable cooking skills.
Yes, kids make a huge mess while working. They are more clumsy, so you should get used to this and keep calm. If you scold them for their mistakes, it will spoil your mood as well as theirs and will turn this jolly experience into an unpleasant one. Let them have fun and explore the various techniques (even if they’re messy); you can always wipe down the counter and sweep the floor in the end; we promise it’ll be worth it.
Cooking with kids is time-consuming as well. Make sure to schedule this activity when you have enough time on hand and actually enjoy the enthralling experience to its fullest!
Make Cooking Fun!
Think up some random games to play in the kitchen to ensure the kids don’t lose interest or find cooking dull. For example, race with your little ones to see who prepares vegetables the fastest or hide ingredients around the kitchen and challenge your children to find them.
And one of my favourites: dance around with them, put on loud music and bring out those hip moves. Trust me, you and your young ones will be lost in fits of laughter.
Deciding what to cook can be a massive pain in the neck. Here are a few recipes to give you a few ideas on what to make with your little munchkins.
Oven Fried Chicken
Children love fried chicken, so we present this healthy, mouthwatering recipe, which only takes 25 mins preparation time and is extremely easy!
Combine crackers, corn cereal crumbs, sesame seeds, cayenne, and garlic powder in a shallow bowl and reserve. Next, combine egg whites, yoghurt, Dijon mustard, and salt in a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces and coat thoroughly with the yoghurt mixture.
One at a time, dip the chicken pieces in the cracker mixture, packing crumbs onto the chicken. Arrange the chicken on a baking sheet and spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray. Bake for approx 45 minutes in the oven at 375°F.
Stuffed Turkey Burgers
Burgers are an absolute hit with the young ones. Here’s a quick recipe that will satisfy your whole family. These turkey burgers are healthy but far from bland. You can stuff each patty with mozzarella cheese and roasted red peppers for a creamy texture and sweet, smoky flavour.
Divide the turkey into four equal-sized rounds. Make two equal-sized patties out of each round, so you have eight total. Sprinkle four patties with two tablespoons each of roasted red peppers and cheese, and top with remaining patties working the turkey around the edges to seal the burgers closed. Season with salt and a few grinds of pepper. Grill or broil until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. And voila! Enjoy this irresistible meal with the whole family.
Garlic Broccoli Pasta
This one is another all-time favourite, not just for the kids but adults immensely enjoy it too. It is easy, AND it is cheesy. Boil the pasta; when there are 3 minutes left in the cooking time, add in the fresh broccoli.
In a large colander, strain the pasta and broccoli. Make sure to reserve 2 cups of pasta water before straining. Place the same large pot over medium-low heat and add butter. Once melted, add the minced garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes or until light brown, stirring often.
Add the pasta and broccoli back into the large pot, and add in the Parmesan and 1 cup of reserved pasta water. Stir for 1 minute or until the cheese is completely incorporated. If pasta is too dry, add more reserved water, 1/4 cup at a time. Serve and enjoy!
Frozen Yoghurt Pops
The ice cream and yoghurt pops available in the market are packed with added sugar and artificial colourings, and sweeteners. Since these ingredients are unsafe and should be limited in children’s diets, consider ditching the store-bought ones and help your kids make nutrient-dense, homemade yoghurt pops.
You only need plain yoghurt, banana, mixed frozen berries, and honey. Toss all the ingredients into a high-powered blender and puree. Divide evenly between paper cups, then cover with aluminium foil and pierce foil in the centre with popsicle sticks to hold sticks in place.
Place a slice of a banana on the bottom of the paper cup to hold the stick up. You will also get a big bite of a frozen banana. Then freeze them for 4-5 hours or until solid. You can use different fruits to make endless, fun-flavoured popsicles and savour these in the summers!
Cooking with Kids | Finishing Off
Lastly, compliment your assistant chefs on a job well done. Offer them a first taste of whatever you cooked together — and ask what you should make together next time. Bon appetit!