Children love to cook, that’s the simple truth. Adults on the other hand hate the mess cooking with children entails. The solution? Teach your children methods of food preparation that reduce the mess. Things like measuring flour and sugar over the sink, placing dirty utensils and pans directly into the dishwashing solution, tidying up as you go and keeping a sponge handy. In all probability there will still be a mess, but hopefully a manageable one that both of you can clean up together.
Cooking is a life skill that is more easily acquired the younger one is. Many a great chef has a resume that starts out with an apprenticeship at a tender age. The skills involved with cooking include measuring – Maths, reading and understanding the recipe – English, combining of various ingredients – Chemistry and making the creation look attractive – Art. So, go ahead and pull that recipe book off the shelf, tie on your aprons and start cooking together.
• Packet cakes are a great starting point for children aged 9 onwards who want to cook independently.
• Children’s recipe books also have some great ideas and the instructions and ingredient lists are written in a child friendly way.
• Encourage children to consider what they are cooking and how to produce a balanced and nutritious meal or snack.
• When discussing foods it is a good idea to talk about food types you can eat more of or less of rather than bad foods or fat foods. If there is a cake which the child now knows has sugar and fat in it, then they will understand why it is an item that they can have a small portion of occasionally.
• Encourage children to make savoury items too.
It doesn’t matter what you make, but time with your child on a shared activity is well spent. Bon Appetite!