(Inside: It’s a dream of mine to one day walk into a kitchen where my two daughters are cooking–fending for themselves. That way I don’t have to. This is my plan for How to Teach Your Kids To Cook based on how my mom taught me. Let’s do this.)
The Ultimate Kids’ Cookbook was provided to me for review. All comments and opinions are my own.
It would be so convenient if kids just popped right out of the womb knowing how to bake bread or even toss together a simple salad.
But, alas, it’s not how life works.
At least not my life.
But, my mom was pretty crafty when she taught me how to cook–and I feel like I’m pretty gifted in the kitchen, largely due to how she methodically laid it out for me.
So, I’m taking that on the road and applying it to my littlies.
This is my plan for How to Teach Your Kids To Cook, based on how my mom taught me to rock it in the kitchen.
How to Teach Your Kids To Cook
- Give The Kids Control. This means letting them pick what they are going to cook–and what portions of the recipe that they’re going to do. If your kid is not into the idea of mixing with their hands, let them mix with a spoon. Likewise, if they aren’t down for the spoon, hands-away! Even if that’s now how you would do it.
- Only Intervene When
Disaster AwaitsThey Ask. Sit back, Clean-Nut Norma. You are not cooking–you are teaching your kids to cook. That means messes and mistakes and you are just going to have to eat it (literally and figuratively). Teaching is not always perfect. Think about when you were learning to drive. If everyone did it perfectly the first time, there’d be no need for Driver’s Ed courses or the Driver’s Test before you got your license. Just wait for them to ask. They learn by making mistakes. So let them screw it up a few hundred times. You can guide–just don’t do it for them.
- Do NOT Put Pressure On Them. Because this is a learning activity, you can’t make them feel like they’re holding up dinner for everyone or they’re on some kind of timer. Set aside an hour for them to cook. Leave plenty of time (and ingredients) for them to mess-up and have a chance to start over. If they feel like they HAVE to make it and RIGHT THAT SECOND, you may be setting them up to crumble under the pressure. So, just lighten-up, Time-Cruncher Tina. Let them take their time to learn.
- Small Biters Need Small Steps. This is something my mom was excellent at. She would give me the simplest of tasks to start with. No drowning me in 10 steps all at once. Nope. And that’s what I like about this recipe I started my kids on, too, for Garlic Knots. They were simple, tiny steps that my kids could understand without feeling bombarded. So, for example, instead of saying “mix ingredients and turn out” the book actually broke it down to “scoop 2/3 cups of flour into the bowl” and the next step would be “put 1 tablespoon of salt in the bowl with the flour.” Super simple–and clear as a bell.
And that’s it.
That’s how my mom started me off.
And that’s literally my plan for How to Teach Your Kids To Cook.
You can start at any time–mine are preschoolers and I’m starting now, but even if you have a pre-teen or teenager that you haven’t yet embarked on teaching them to cook, this is how I would teach kids to cook.
If you’re digging these simple ideas for How to Teach Your Kids To Cook and want to get started by grabbing the cookbook I found my kid-friendly garlic knots in, look no further than The Ultimate Kids’ Cookbook.
It’s super-full of all sorts of really easy recipes that were not only easy to make, but also foods that kids would actually want to eat.
And the instructions are laid out very clearly so that kids a little older than mine (that can read) really don’t need too much help.
My kids are stoked to have a recipe book all their own and the chance to pick what they cook (see? control…).
And, so you keep this at the forefront of your mind and/or to remind yourself when it’s time, before you go, pin this sweet tutorial for How to Teach Your Kids To Cook.