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Important Things to Remember While Teaching Your Kids to Cook

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Involving your children in chores is a great way to teach them new skills and spend some time bonding over trials and errors. I have always been an advocate for inculcating positive habits in children from a young age, knowing the basics of cooking is one of them.

Knowing how much effort goes into a certain task can only be learned when you actually do it or are a part of it. As the kids start growing, it is our responsibility to teach them everything they need to be independent. Change is inevitable, we are not going to be there to provide for them all their lives even if we want to.

cooking

Knowing how to cook also makes sure that an individual will have more healthy meals. We should provide them with the knowledge and tools to begin feeding themselves so that later they don’t have to struggle with takeouts and fast foods. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when introducing kids to cooking.

Safety First

Kitchens have a lot of potentially dangerous pieces of equipment that your kid can hurt themselves with if not careful. Make your first lesson about safety. Teach them how to hold the knives – from the handle and not the blade even if all they are going to do with it is passing it to you.

Hot stoves, sharp knives and peelers, heavy iron woks, big rolling pins – there are a lot of things that can be considered dangerous if played with. If your kid is too young then you will most likely only include them in mixing stuff, keep them away from the main area then. Have them seated at the dining table. If they are actually going to be helping you in cooking then a thorough lesson is important.

Don’t scare them though. Be vigilant when they start out as your tiny little helpers but don’t make them feel overwhelmed. Use a cheerful voice and smiling eyes to keep the mood light. Because if you are worried, they will sense it and mimic too, they won’t enjoy the experience, and that is the main goal along with learning.

Teach Them the Correct Terminology

Kids usually have their own special name for things, especially for words they cannot pronounce. It is an instinct to dumb things down for children, but you don’t need to. You will be surprised at the ease at which children learn new terminologies.

Use the correct words for tools and techniques so that they pick it up and don’t have to struggle later. If they are learning something new, they might as well learn it correctly. They also feel proud – when they use something they recently learned – correctly. This helps boost their self-confidence and makes them feel proud of themselves.

Use Rewards

baking

If your kid isn’t interested in cooking, use rewards to persuade them. This isn’t just a hobby. Cooking is a skill that they need to learn to be independent. It is one of the basic survival skills. They don’t need to be restaurant quality chefs, they just need to learn how to feed themselves. Learning all the basics is more than enough.

Use their favorite shows or dishes as rewards for them helping you out in the kitchen with food preparation. You can also let them choose the dishes. This makes them more interested in the process. Don’t focus on just the healthy recipes, they will be bored real quick. Sprinkle in a mixture of healthy recipes and treats to keep it interesting.

With cooking, try baking because most children enjoy baking more than cooking. You can alternate the dishes with one being their choice and then the other being your choice.

Remember Your Goal

The above point brings me to this point. It is easy to get caught up in wanting to teach your kids all the dishes you know or experiment with new ones altogether. You should remember that the main goal here is to teach your kids one of the necessary skills that they need to survive and also to boost their confidence and self-esteem.

Knowing things makes an individual feel confident in their ability to do things and learn stuff. Cooking is one of the tasks that kids often relate to adults. Them being included in the process makes them feel important and like an adult.

It isn’t necessary for them to make top-notch dishes. They should just be learning something after each cooking session. Adjust the lessons according to their interests. If they aren’t interested, don’t keep pushing them to learn more complicated stuff. Let them do things at their own pace. Most importantly, have fun together.

Final Thoughts

What you basically need to keep in mind is that the whole idea behind teaching your kids to learn cooking from early on is to teach them an important skill that will help them become independent, boost their self-confidence and self-esteem, and help you bond with them. Just have fun with the process instead of treating it like a chore.

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