Kids love to get hands-on in the kitchen. It’s messy fun, and there’s ample room for creativity, as well as the sense of achievement at the end when they have something tasty to eat!
The Mirror reports that a study conducted by Lego has revealed that 40 per cent of pre-teenage children have taken up baking as a hobby during the lockdown. Baking can teach your kids valuable life skills that will help prepare them for later in life. We have a look at ten top tips to get you and your kids cooking and baking together.
- Take your time
As with most tasks, when you include children it is bound to take longer than it usually would, so ensure you set extra time aside for cooking and remember than for younger kids, the journey is as much fun as the destination.
- Expect a lot of mess
Baking is a messy business when kids are involved. To practise a bit of damage control, lay a plastic tablecloth down on your work surface, but ultimately, you’ll all have more fun if you just let the mess happen and clean it all up at the end.
- Plan ahead
Choose an appropriate recipe, one that they’ll enjoy and that involves plenty of activities that are suitable for their age. Ensure you have all the ingredients and equipment at the ready. If necessary, do some preparation, before you ask them to join you.
- Get them ready
Make sure the kids are wearing clothes you don’t mind getting dirty, pop and apron on them, and tie back long hair.
- Teach children about food hygiene
Reinforce the importance of washing hands before and in-between touching raw and cooked or ready to eat foods.
- Talk through the recipe
If you have older children, you can get them to read out the steps involved in the recipe, get out the required ingredients, talk through the processes involved, and plan who is going to do what part.
- Learning opportunities
While you’re cooking, discuss the ingredients, where they come from, and the cooking/baking processes and techniques you’re all using. Cooking can be a great way to learn about science, geography, and even maths. It’s good for fine motor skills and coordination too.
- Touching and tasting
This will make the experience more enjoyable for them, encourage more adventurous eating plus it’s a good opportunity to teach children which foods are safe to eat raw. Ask them to use a clean spoon to taste, not fingers and stirring spoons.
- Age and ability
Children’s recipes often have age guidelines but look at your child and recognise what they are capable of doing. There are always activities for every child, even if it’s just messing around in the sink washing vegetables and plastic containers while grown-ups and older children chop and cook.
- Make it fun!
Children will learn to love cooking if you relax and have fun with them in the kitchen. If you feel nervous, start with basic recipes, they’re still a good learning experience. Only step in when it’s necessary, otherwise, let them enjoy and create.
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