Cooking with kids can be such a rewarding thing to do. Not only does it encourage children to experiment with new flavours, learn where ingredients come from and give you precious time together, but we've also seen it build confidence in children through sharing and presenting the food that they've created.
We thought we'd share our top tips with you to ensure a positive experience, and help inspire the next generation of little Chefs…
1. Take cover! - ensure you both have aprons - if cooking with a toddler, then popping a full length painting apron on will save clothes and cleaning
2. Prepare for battle – measure out all of the ingredients in to little bowls and keep out of reach until they’re needed.
3. Read through the recipe and if it helps, write quick larger notes on what to do next on a piece of paper so you can use it as a guide without having to ruin your cookbook or reading back through reams of info whilst trying to stop your child smearing dough or chocolate mixture all over your windows!
3. Snacks at the ready – cooking is guaranteed to get the taste buds going, and if you have to wait for your dish to cook and cool, then it could help to have a bowl of separate healthy treats for them to snack on…otherwise they’ll eat their weight in cake mix before you can say “baking tray”.
4. Forget the mess – tidy up when you’re done (and get them to help!). Relax and enjoy yourself and let them touch, squidge and feel things – it’s all a part of them learning about food and textures.
5. “Look-Look!!” – make sure they see every bit of the process from you weighing things out to putting the baking tray in the oven (ensuring of course that the adult does this bit and they stand well back!) it’s all a part of them understanding and then recognising that what’s coming out of the oven is still what they made.
6. Be adventurous – don’t just stick to boring bland basic recipes, add in some different flavours and try something a bit different. When your child cooks something they’re more likely to try it, so use it as an opportunity to get them tasting things that they might otherwise turn their nose up to…and if they don’t like it, you can always eat it for them
7. Get the right kit - if you're cooking with young ones, then these Kiddi Kutter knives from Amazon are fab for ensuring they can get involved with the chopping but won't catch their fingers.