This isn’t the first time you’ve heard Erin and I preach about getting your kids in the kitchen.
So, here we are. Sharing our top tips and tricks for getting started cooking side by side with your little one, and spoiler alert, it doesn’t involve any special gadgets or a culinary degree.
Top Five Tips For Getting Started Cooking with Your Kids
1. Choose The Right Recipes
You wouldn’t jump into the kitchen for your first time and attempt to make a coq au vin or beef wellington, would you? If you would, than kuddos to you! But for us regular folk, we would start off with something simple. So do your kids a solid and show them the same courtesy. You don’t need to use a special kids cookbook or anything fancy – heck make your own pizza or sandwich night is a great way to start!
Pick a recipe that has few ingredients, is easy to follow, and has plenty of ways for your kids to be involved, so they aren’t just watching you chop the whole time. Better yet, choose a recipe WITH your kids! What better way to get them excited and engaged in the cooking process.
Here are a few of my favourite recipes to cook with my girls:
- No Bake Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip & Peanut Butter Balls
- 4 Ingredient Cheesy Zucchini Bites
- Coconut Pancakes
2. Be Prepared
Before you get cooking, make sure your kitchen is set up safely. Put all those sharp knives away, make sure they have a safe place to sit or stand, and ensure they can’t reach the stove or anything else that’s sharp or flammable. I also like to make sure I’ve got everything I need for the recipe laid out in front of me. Having everything you need good and ready such as your kitchen equipment, ingredients, and the recipe makes it much easier to keep your focus on your child and enjoy the whole process together.
3. Be Patient
This may be the hardest one! The recipe may take at least double the time to make, your end product is not going to be perfect, and that is OKAY! You also may be asked at least a thousand questions and trust me, I get it. It can be frustrating at times. But, we want this to be a positive experience for your child so that they are excited about their food and want to be in the kitchen with you again and again. And let’s be honest, it can sometimes be helpful to have them help you out in that wonderful time between 4:30 and 6pm when you are trying to get dinner on the table and they are usually just a tad (or a lot) cranky! So, keep them busy in the kitchen with you! Dinner gets made and your overtired child is occupied.
4. Ignore the Mess (for now!)
Okay, so maybe this is the hardest one! There’s no way around it, cooking with kids is plain old messy. There was one time I let my daughter crack the eggs – let’s just say none of those eggs made it into the bowl. And it’s hard to look the other way when your kitchen is being turned into a disaster zone. But you kinda have to let it go and abandon the “clean as you go” mantra when you have a little one by your side. Just know the mess will not be there forever and it’s worth it, I promise!
5. It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect
Let’s be honest, does it really matter if your muffins have that perfect domed top? And will your pizza taste any different if the cheese isn’t placed just so? Your finished product may not look instagram worthy, but that’s real life! Your child is going to be so proud of his or her cooking that it makes absolutely no difference what it looks like. I promise it’s going to taste delicious because of all the love and effort that went into making it.
So tell us, what are some of your favourite recipes to make with your kids?? We’re always looking for new ideas!
And stay tuned for future blog posts featuring more tips and tricks for cooking with kids at every age and stage!