Teaching your children to cook can be a great way to bond in the kitchen. Cooking basics are essential tools your children will need throughout life and therefore there is never a good time like the present to begin teaching them. By getting them involved in helping out with meals your children will begin to pick up on skills that will help them as they get older. Of course, everything you teach has to be age appropriate and safety should always come first.
It is important that no matter what age your child is that you teach them the importance of safety in the kitchen. This means not messing with knives without proper permission, how to properly hold and cut with a knife (if they are old enough), washing their hands before they start cooking, steering clear of the flame on the stove, and also keeping pot handles pointing inwards so as not to cause a hazard. Making sure your children are safe is the first and most important step to basic cooking.
Children Under the Age of 6
Children under the age of 6 are a bit too young to do anything in the kitchen as there are many hazards that they may not be fully able to understand. However, this is a great time to let them watch you in the kitchen. You can begin at this age teaching them about a well balanced meal and how to be safe when in the kitchen.
Children under the age of 6 can help with things such as snapping beans, making hamburger patties, or washing off lettuce. Be sure to monitor them so that they don’t do anything unsafe.
Children Age 7-10
At this age your child is ready to do more to help out in the kitchen and they should be able to follow all the safety rules without a problem. You can teach them cooking basics that would include making salads, sandwiches, and pizzas without too much hassle.
Children Ages 11 and Up
Now they are ready to be your junior chef and you can teach them a few more cooking basics. Some advanced lessons to teach them could be chopping vegetables, stovetop cooking basics, boiling/broiling, grilling, frying, sautéing, and baking.
As your child gets the hang of the basics that you’re teaching you can begin to allow them to have more responsibility in the kitchen. This could include helping you plan meals each week, being your assistant chef a few days out of the week, and depending upon how advanced they are you might even be able to supervise them while they prepare an entire meal!
Your child will enjoy every moment of learning to cook with you and getting the basics on how to prepare meals that they love and enjoy. Be sure that while you’re teaching your children the basics that you keep the atmosphere light and stress free. The easier the process is, the more eager they will be to help you out in the future.