Beyond recipes, let’s talk about kids, food, and kids and food. And because I can’t help myself, I’ve included a fun recipe, too.
Do you allow your kids in the kitchen? I’m not talking about letting them over the threshold to pour themselves a glass a milk or grab a snack. Do you let them create and be a part of the cooking process? Sure, they’re messy, and the odds are high that occasionally they will create something you may need to dispose of, discreetly of course, but the benefits kids reap from lending a (messy) hand when it’s time to cook will last them a lifetime. Never mind the fun of flour-covered noses.
It took awhile for my OCD-self to relax enough to let my daughter into the kitchen to help, but I’ve faced my fears and we haven’t looked back. Not only does she love to help, she’s amazing in the kitchen. Thanks to a new-found love of learning to prep and cook food, her favourite show, iCarly, is relegated to second place, and that’s a good thing. A more hands-on and less eyes-on life works for me.
Letting the kids into the kitchen is fun, educational (without making it a big deal), and if you play your cards right, they will learn to do simple chores without being asked. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Here’s what you get when you let your kids into the kitchen to help:
Quality time with your sidekicks
I love this part. We are so busy that when I get a few minutes with my daughter alone, it’s precious to us. This is the best time to catch up on who said what and who is in love with whom at school. Cooking together is the perfect bonding time.
No complaining about education
All of a sudden they love math (measuring, counting and adding)! They’ll also learn about nutrition. I’ve been asked a million or so questions about the benefits of carrots and milk lately; they are eager little sponges. Learning about where our food comes from (vegetables, fruit and meat) and being aware of what role our farmers play in providing us with nutritious food is an important lesson.
A happy kid
Kids love stirring, dumping, and patting ingredients into something they can eat. They go from creating backyard soups with sand and water in a bowl to subbing in flour and milk (and less sand) in the kitchen. Let them have fun with it! Your reward will be their ear-to-ear smiles when they’ve helped prepare dinner or a batch of cookies. Do not ruin their fun by making them do it YOUR way.
My mom allowed me in the kitchen with her and so did my grandma. I will always cherish those moments and I want my kids to experience the same thing. And the same goes for boys, they love helping mom and dad out just as much. Cooking can be fun if everyone pitches in!
As promised, here’s a little snack recipe my daughter and I make quite often. It’s healthy and super yummy. Enjoy!