Get Your Kids Cooking!

In most households, parents prepare the meals. Children often share what they prefer to eat, but very seldom participate in preparing meals. The question most parents ask is, “How do I get my child/children interested in preparing a meal that they like?”

Kids may think of cooking as a less than exciting activity, but parents can help make the kitchen a place where everyone can have fun together: planning, measuring, mixing, preparing and enjoying each other’s company along with the delicious fruits of their efforts. Cooking a meal together, as a family, can be as exciting as eating the end product.

The activities involved in cooking can help develop hand and eye coordination, refine motor skills and build reading and math skills. Best of all, cooking helps to instill confidence and a sense of accomplishment.

Here are some tips parents can use to encourage kids to cook:

Tip 1 Start by preparing the foods they like most, like a fruit smoothie.
Tip 2 Take your children grocery shopping to help select ingredients. Give them a budget and help them keep track of what they are spending.
Tip 3 Designate one evening as cooking time for the family, where kids are allowed to choose a recipe they like and assist in preparing the meal.
Tip 4 Eliminate distractions by turning off the television while cooking and eating, and focus your children’s attention on the art of cooking and the pleasure of sharing a meal together as a family.