I enjoy cooking, it is my passion. My most memorable time in the kitchen was with my niece. I seriously adore my little Sweet Pea!
She is four now, but when Sophia was three she wanted to help me with cooking. She helped me make her Uncle Brian’s birthday cake. She also helped her mommy and daddy in the kitchen a lot, she is a very good little helper.
Children should be welcomed in the kitchen, not pushed out. The kitchen is a place to laugh, celebrate, cheer, and simply enjoy. What better way to do all four, than with your kids?
You can start sharing your love of cooking with children as early as three or four years of age. If you start cooking with your kids when they are younger, be sure they are never left unattended. Try to choose meals that do not require a lot of different processes, dishes, and minimal need for knives. Buy the vegetables, fruit, or even meat already cut up. That saves time, and reduces chances for any accidents with your kids.
For example, making a cake with my niece at three, there were very few steps- just a lot of stirring, which is lots of fun- plus some chances to get a little messy, and who doesn’t like that?
Another fun dish to make with younger children is breaded chicken tenders. You can call them fun names, Rachel Ray calls them chicken toes, or how about chicken feet? You can buy the chicken already in small pieces, have your dishes with eggs, flour, and breading ready for your child. Let your kids have fun breading the chicken, and getting messy in the process.
A few weeks back my dear friends came over to relax, and enjoy the moment. They have a ten year-old, an eight year-old, and a two year-old, all of them are simply adorable. I decided we needed to make a dish that would be fun for the ten year-old and eight year-old to help with. I decided individual pizzas was a fun idea, and it’s their favorite to eat.
I bought the dough already prepared at Trader Joe’s. Remember I said make life easy for you, but also fun! Then I bought different toppings, and spaghetti sauce from a jar. The toppings could be set out for them to choose from. Try to still take a healthier approach for your child. Try to include wonderful vegetables for choices of toppings, along with some choices of meat. Avoid high fructose corn syrup in your spaghetti sauce, read the labels carefully.
I let the kids help me in rolling out the individual pizza dough, what a fun activity for the kids! Seriously the look on their faces was priceless, they had so much fun.
The process of making the pizza’s got a little out of hand, and messy in my tiny kitchen…Oh Well! It was soooo fun!!!
Don’t be afraid to just go outside of your comfort zone, and enjoy the time in the kitchen with your kids. Making a mess is not a big deal, only takes a few minutes to clean up. The bond you can make with your kids in the kitchen is something that can last a lifetime.