Updated: Feb 17, 2021
Did you know that kids who help cook, eat healthier and make better food choices? Cooking is so beneficial for children. It teaches them life skills and a love of food, making them less picky and more willing to try new things.
Feed their imaginations
Let their imaginations run wild with all the flavor combinations and possibilities. Let them be the boss in the kitchen. When they take decisions, they will be more likely to eat the food they helped create. Give them free reign to decorate cupcakes, choose flavors and pizza toppings or even the fruit to add to a smoothie.
When your kids have their friends over, why not hold a competition. See who comes up with the best and most delicious dish. And in the end, everyone is a winner because they created something themselves, they had fun and they get to eat their awesome creations.
Don’t stress over the mess!
Yes, there will be mess with kids in the kitchen. But along with that, you will be creating amazing and unforgettable memories with them. At the same time, they will learn that clean up is also part of the process and you can find a fun way to get them involved in that too! Just remember that this time is for you and your kids to bond and create a love for food.
Build life skills and teach hygiene
When you work WITH the kids, they aren’t just learning a recipe. They learn fine motor skills from cutting and peeling foods and pouring ingredients. Measuring ingredients teaches them math. Cutting a cake into slices, oranges into wedges or pizza into slices will be a fun way to learn fractions.
Start by getting them into food hygiene. Washing hands, cleaning benches, washing ingredients and teach them the dos and donts of raw food. Experiencing this from an early age will ensure they carry this through when they are older.
Plan meals with your little ones
Kids love to express their opinions. They would much prefer to tell you what they want to eat than mum sitting them down at meal time and forcing them to eat something they didn’t get a say in. My kids are the same!! But If you sit down and plan meals with your kids, its just quality time spent with them. They get to see what a full balanced meal includes; fiber, complex carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables, protein and maybe a treat on the odd occasion. This will get them excited about cooking and maybe even inspire them.
Get their hands dirty!
Get them to grate, peel, chop or even taste the food along the way. It makes them feel like they accomplished something at the end of the activity and will more likely eat what they created. I always make sure everyone in the house knows that my kids cooked dinner. I’ll give them all the credit and they are beaming and even tell me how that think they should ‘change’ the recipe next time. (that’s something, right?)
Artistic food creates hungry chefs
Make their food fun and creative. A healthy meal will be so appealing to them if its bright and colorful, or in the shape of an animal. Even my kids ask for nuggets in the shape of dinosaurs and refer to broccoli as trees. Use cookie cutters to make carrots into flowers, or croquettes into cute shapes. Pasta comes in all shapes and sizes. Boil them and toss them into some tomato sauce. Kids will be so happy figuring out what shapes they find in their food. Make food exciting for kids!
Because I love cooking with my kids, I’ve decided to come up with some kid friendly recipes for you to enjoy with your little ones and ignite their passion for food. Maybe you could spend a Saturday night in, making all your favorite foods fun again. You never know, you might have a little chef at home, just waiting to show you what he/she can do!
Give the recipes a go and let me know how it went for you. My kids and I would love to hear from you and see what you get up to. Send us a message along with some pictures! I can’t wait!