The kids are off school which means plenty of time to get them cooking. If you have some spare time this week, then set aside a few hours to get busy with your small people – there truly is no greater gift that you can give them than confidence in the kitchen. Here are our top tips to surviving in the kitchen with your children, and actually making it an enjoyable experience for everyone involved!
Make the Time
This might sound obvious, but most of us are used to speeding through our jobs in the kitchen, with one eye on dinner and another on the toddler trying to eat the leg of a kitchen chair. Children move at a slower pace than us in the kitchen, so allow extra time for otherwise quick chores, and allow yourself to relax.
Don’t Worry About Equipment
Invest in some cheap, smaller plastic chopping boards. Set each child up with a board that has a tea towel underneath it to stop it from slipping and a butter knife, which will happily chop the softer vegetables. They will use adult size spatulas, whisks and wooden spoons quite happily and remember to teach them about kitchen safety rule number one: Only Adults Use The Cooker And Oven.
Find The Right Recipe
You don’t need a special cooking book to find the right recipe to try out with your children. Find something simple, that you would all like to eat for dinner – meatballs or chicken breasts work well, and try it out. Make sure that it’s not complicated and doesn’t have ingredients that will turn your child off at the preparation stage, and carry on as normal!
Finally, Include Picky Eaters!
Believe it or not, your picky eater is more likely to eat a meal that he or she has made herself. Make sure that there is at least one component of the meal that he or she will eat, and allow them to take charge of one entire part of dinner ie the vegetables. This will build enthusiasm, fun and confidence around the dinner table. Once you see that puff of pride in a child’s chest at the dinner table because they helped to make it, you will be enlisting your sous chefs more often!