Cooking With Young Children

Teaching children to cook can be fun for everyone, and the results are the reward for a job well done.

Teaching your child to cook is not hard, the hard part could be getting them out of the kitchen. When you are teaching them, remember to stress safety and cleanliness, after all theese are skills they will need for many years into the future.

Start by finding simple no-cook recipies. A salad or other no cook cookie recipe is an ideal way to start. Show your child how to hold, and cut with, knives. Make sure they know to wash everything in hot soapy water as they use it, so that it becomes a habit that is part of the process and not an extra chore do do after they have finished.

If possible find one of the good children's cookbooks that are available. Many of theese have simple recipies that demonstrate the basic cooking terms such as chop, mix, and stir.

When practical have your child help you prepare meals. Even a small child can get bowls out, pour, and start learning to measure. A two year old can stir a batter, or taste test the results.

Allow your older child to find a recipe that they think sounds nice. Go over the recipe with them as you discuss the steps needed, and how to adjust any ingredients to match your budget, and family preferences.

When you go shopping have your child help find the necessary ingredients for thier 'special' recipe. When it is time to make the recipe allow them to do as much as possible, only helping out if asked or they run into trouble. Be sure to praise thier efforts even if they are not perfect. After the results are gone, talk about any problems, and see if thier is a solution.

Most children like to cook, and if they are part of deciding what to cook, as well as the preparation they will be well on the way to being good cooks.

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