Getting kids excited about cooking is very important. The earlier you start, the better it is for both them and you. Kids that are curious about where their food comes from and how it is prepared, are more likely to be healthy and have a positive relationship with food throughout their lives.
- Start teaching them from an early age;
As soon as they are old enough to help you stir, encourage them to help. It could be something as simple as washing carrots or potatoes that they get started with – give them age appropriate tasks and always praise their efforts.
- Start with small tasks first;
It could be something simple like choosing cookie cutters to cut out cookies or whisking eggs to make an omelet, before they can advance onto more difficult tasks, just keep encouraging them and building on what they already know and can do.
- Have patience and take your time;
Plan in advance what you want to make with your kids, bearing in mind to choose a recipe that they can help you with. Plan to cook together at the weekend as you may have more time on your hands then and may not feel that you are under any time pressure.
- Allow your kids to get involved;
Ensure they get plenty of opportunities to measure and weigh ingredients, to stir bowls and saucepans, to prepare vegetables and fruit that you’ll be using. Encourage them to taste, touch and smell the ingredients and give simple explanations about where they came from, what they’re used for and why they go into a particular dish – curious kids love to be given lots of answers!
Remember the more you encourage and praise them in the kitchen, the more they are going to want to spend time there cooking with