Cooking with kids – Have you been tempted to enroll your kids into cooking lessons?
This guide will help you to get started teaching kids to cook.
It will be challenging but totally rewarding when you see the skills kids pick up so quickly and the BONUS is that you will save your money on lessons and spend some fun time in the kitchen with your kids!
From the age of 6 or the first year of school is probably the time when kids are really wanting and deserving of more independence. Learning how to cook is a life skill that many children are not going to learn
Why not do this activity together and with some simple planning you can have some fun times in the kitchen with your child.
If you have younger children I have an article for simple cooking activities and recipes here – 2-5 year olds here
And if you have older children, I have a more challenging skills and recipes here – 10 -13 years olds here
When should children learn to cook?
Children between the ages of 6 and 9 are open to learning so many new skills and wanting to be in charge of more things in their lives.
At this age they have better fine motor skills and they are capable of reading. (Recipes are great for encouraging reading skills.)
They are ready to hit the kitchen!!
One point to note is that their attention span is still very short and they will just want to get to the finished product!
Ensure that the tasks can easily be done in a few minutes and even prep some steps in advance to save time.
Why is learning to cook important?
Cooking is a life skill that is disappearing.
When we look at the kids of today many do not have the skills or simple experiences that we had as kids.
Many of the chores we had to do are no longer around or busy families will out source many tasks.
Children are also kept away from activities that ‘could’ be seen as harmful – Such as using knives or using the oven.
Being able to prepare simple meals is truly is a valuable skill not just for while they are still living at home , but when they leave home too!!
Being able to cook a meal for themselves and for others will be a skill that they will be grateful for learning.
These are the skills that 6-9 year olds can do now
Reading out the recipes
Using a peeler to prep fruit and vegetables
Using a grater
Measuring and weighing ingredients
Chopping fruit and vegetables
Learning to turn on the stove and oven
Stirring things on the stove top
Decorating cupcakes and cookies
Getting ready to cook
From an early age is is important that they have an understanding of working in a safe environment and following hygiene and safe food practices and of course keeping a clean workspace and this includes being able to clean up as they go and cleaning up afterwards!
Some utensils to start using at this age
I know, I know – Them utensils will be stressful for you to watch and you will pray that they can can do the skill and there are no tears along the way.
Just ensure that you start with the simple tasks and before you know it they will be confident and happy doing these new tasks.
Set things up so that they are working at a height that is safe and comfortable for them.
You may even want to do some of the food prep at the kitchen table if the kitchen benches are a little high.
Or consider using a step.
Fruit and vegetable peelers.
There are some styles/models that are easier for children to use and they can be something fun to get them excited about helping peel the veggies
Care does need to be taken when using a peeler
Graters have always freaked me out a little.
I think I was emotionally scared when as a kid we had to eat a meal and watch out for a bit of skin that mum lost off her knuckle while grating up carrot in the spaghetti sauce.
Choose a grater that is easy to hang onto and has a non slip bottom
And just in case you are worried by using a grater – You can buy finger guards that would work for sturdy vegetables like carrots.
Measuring and Weighing
This is where you can really have some fun with math
You have volume, weights and of course fractions
Simple equations will make sense when you can show a child simple things like 4 quarter cups equal 1 cup
Also learning metric and Imperial measurements
A great set of measuring cups and spoons will have metric measurements
And of course the ones we sell at Cooking Gods also come with a bonus conversion chart showing metric and Imperial.
You can buy our amazing set on Amazon.
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Kitchen scales are also great to use and this is the same model that I use. Supr easy to use and you can switch between metric and Imperial
Or maybe a set with a handy bowl maybe easier to balance ingredients on the scale.
Chopping fruit and vegetables
Cutting fruit and vegetables is more daunting for a parent than a child but they should be able to cut up most fruit and vegetables. Prepping before and cutting into manageable sizes or shapes will absolutely help and remove some of the stress!
You can use knives or even different cutters.
Now here comes the fun part – decorating cakes and cookies!!
The main area to watch for is easy to manage for kids – Not too fiddly with assembling and using it and of course easy to wash and put away for next time.
I hope this has inspired you to get into the kitchen and start teaching your kids some valuable skills
I have 5 really easy recipes below that you can do with your children now.
If you want to read more articles on cooking with your children and more recipes to inspire you
Please take a look at these 2 sites
They are all about kids learning to cook and the recipes they do together.
Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons
Kids Cook Mondays
Here are 5 recipes that you can make together.
Recipe by Kalyn’s Kitchen
This is a sure fire way of getting zucchini into kids!
Chopping vegetables and pepperoni
Using the broiler/oven