Cooking with Kids: A Delicious Way to Have Fun!
Encouraging your children to help with meal prep is an excellent way of getting them interested in new foods and flavours, all while helping them develop their autonomy. But that’s not all! It will help them develop a positive relationship with food and enjoy an overall eating pattern that supports health. By involving them in age-appropriate tasks you’ll help them develop, over time, important culinary skills that they will use for the rest of their lives. Here are a few recipes and tips, perfect for when you want to cook as a family.
Naturally curious…even in the kitchen!
Are your kids picky when it comes to trying new food or textures? Do you frequently hear “no, I don’t want that!” at your dinner table?
When you involve your children in the cooking process, you’re helping them develop an interest in various foods and flavours. And that means they get to put their senses into action, which is great for naturally curious kids! Let them touch rice before and after it’s been cooked, smell different types of cheeses, whisk eggs and milk together, and of course, taste all their creations . . . and watch as their taste buds and culinary opinions develop!
Aspiring chefs, are you ready?
To ensure your family cooking time is safe and enjoyable, assign your children tasks they can easily accomplish. Here are a few suggestions:
- Garnish and enhance: Even a child as young as two or three can sprinkle cheese on top of pizza or garnish a bowl of yogurt with fresh berries.
- Stir and mix: Young children love to see ingredients transform – ask them to whisk together eggs and milk to make an omelette, or stir together dry and wet ingredients for a batch of homemade muffins.
- Grate and cut: These tasks require careful instructions and a few tips but will instill older children with a sense of accomplishment and pride.
- Cook and heat: Once your older kids have learned how to use the stove, you can enlist their help making pancakes or pizza . . . or even breakfast in bed for you!
Trust your kids! Allowing them to join in on meal prep will make them proudly exclaim, “I made it myself!”.
Are you looking to make food prep a regular family activity? Start gradually! Introduce homemade pizza-veggie night every Friday and get the whole family involved in pulling the meal together. This positive experience will help you bond and create warm, family memories all while filling up on delicious and nutritious meals!
Eating as a family is the secret ingredient to making healthy eating enjoyable
Eating with your loved ones doesn’t just strengthen the relationship between you and your family, but it also provides lots of health benefits including adopting healthy eating habits. In addition to spending some important time together as a family, research shows that eating together is related to healthier eating patterns. By the way, eating together also benefits children’s social and academic performance. Busy schedules and lives can sometimes get in the way of eating together, but when you can, the payoff is well worth it.
Quality family time
Obviously, meal prep with kids requires lots of supervision and a little extra time, but it’s an activity that lets you spend some quality time with the whole family. It’s the perfect opportunity to make healthier food choices and enjoy delicious home-cooked meals.
In closing, keep in mind how much little kids enjoy playing “grown-up”. Sure, your kitchen is bound to be a mess, the results might not be perfect, and you might end up having to throw some ingredients away (you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, right?), but the moments spent as a family will stay in your heart forever and will definitely be worth it in the end!