There’s never been a better time to teach kids how to cook. Childhood obesity is on the rise, because you live in a world where eating fast food or going out to eat at a restaurant, is more fun than cooking at home.
The problem is that even the child-size entrees at a restaurant can pack a big calorie wallop.
You would like the whole family to eat healthier, so you can lead by example and let your children help you in the kitchen. It’s also a good time to point out why these dishes are good for you, and any family history behind them.
Here are five reasons why you should cook with your kids:
Yes, cookies look just fine when they are scooped and baked on a sheet pan, but why not make them a little fancier with some fancy icing tricks and some rainbow sprinkles?
It’s easy to do and all you need is a piping bag with a tip. Bright colored sprinkles add a delicious crunch.
Don’t worry about the mess. It’s just all part of cooking with kids.
Kids are very curious and are usually not afraid to ask questions about something they don’t understand. Why does bread dough have to rise before baking? Why is toast so crunchy?
You can make a game out of it, and give them five possible answers and let them choose the correct one. What kid doesn’t like a little competition?
If you’re cooking with two of your kids, emphasize team work and working together to prepare a dish.
If Susie and Jane are cooking together, one can cook the vegetables, and the other pour the sauce over the top.
This would be a good learning opportunity for siblings who don’t get along, and you can make the experience so much fun that they won’t realize they’re actually learning.
She’ll Try New Foods
If you have a child who is a picky eater, she may surprise you by eagerly tasting a food she has just helped to make. Choose some healthier foods and let her experiment with different combinations.
Another important part of cooking with kids is planning a menu. What foods are delicious for breakfast? One day could be scrambled eggs, and then switch to hot or cold cereal for a few days. On the weekend, pancakes or French toast make breakfast extra special.
Who doesn’t like sandwiches for lunch? Give her a choice of cold cuts to buy, and which whole wheat bread should be used as a base. She could help make sandwiches by carefully spreading the mayo and mustard on the bread, topping with cold cuts, and putting on lettuce and tomato for extra taste and nutrition.
There’s no doubt that your patience may wear thin when you’re cooking with kids, but start with some simple recipes and it may become a bonding time that you both enjoy.