Knowing how to cook is one of the most valuable skills you can have in life. Every adult should be able to prepare delicious, nutritious meals for themselves and others. If you don’t know your way around the kitchen, you are more likely to eat unhealthily and be at greater risk of heart disease, obesity, and other medical issues. It also enables you to save money on your eating habits and enjoy a greater quality of life.
That’s why it’s so important to get your kids into cooking from an early age. This way, you will instill healthy habits into them that they will carry on into adulthood. When they leave home and go to college or start work, they will know how to be self-sufficient rather than relying on you to cook their meals for them. Or worse, only eating junk food.
So to help your child discover a passion for food, here are four tips for teaching your little one to cook.
Explain food hygiene and safety
Learning to cook starts with the basics. Although it can be simple and fun, if you get certain things wrong you can easily injure yourself or get sick. Teach your child how to be careful when using kitchen equipment. For example, drill into them that they need to wait until food is cooked before tasting, and wash their hands before and after handling food. You won’t be giving a young child a sharp knife, but as they get older you can entrust more responsibility to them. Make sure you demonstrate how to hold a cutting implement properly and explain the importance of keeping blades sharp and well looked after.
Familiarize them with the equipment
Even though you are familiar with spatulas, cheese graters, and electric whisks, your child might be a little overwhelmed by all the exciting gadgets in your kitchen. Take some time to explain what each item is and how it is used. Give them a demonstration before letting them try it out for themselves and teach them how to be safe while they are at it. This will help to ease them into their newfound culinary abilities and give them an appreciation for the kitchen.
Start with easy recipes
There’s probably no point getting your child to make a full roast dinner on their first attempt. You need to start slow, with easy recipes with few steps and only basic cooking techniques. Baking sweet treats like biscuits and brownies is a good place to start, as they are simple and delicious enough to keep an impatient child interested. There are a few basic cooking essentials everyone should know, such as how to make over hard eggs or boil water for pasta.
Make it fun
Some children get bored easily, so you don’t want cooking to seem like a chore. Make it a fun activity by letting your child get stuck into everything. Teach them to prepare their favorite foods and don’t let them get disheartened if they make mistakes. It’s all part of the learning process.
Does your child love cooking, or you have special memories of cooking with your children? I love hearing from you!
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