Baking and cooking with kids is an excellent opportunity for quality family time that’s both fun and a wonderful learning experience.
We invited Marissa Wojcik, author of the baking blog North Shore to South Bay, to share some simple cooking tips to make the most of your time in the kitchen:
The Benefits of Cooking With Kids
Some of my best and earliest memories are in the kitchen with my mom, aunt, or grandmothers. We made chocolate chip cookies, brownies, or traditional Jewish desserts for whatever holiday was coming next.
Being in the kitchen from a young age encouraged me to be creative, helped me learn basic math skills, and taught me the important life lesson of patience and carefully reading instructions.
Here are some tips that I hope you will find helpful when cooking with your kids!
1. Let kids explore their creativity in the kitchen.
Making chocolate chip cookies with the help of your five-year-old? Let them pick one ingredient to add to a small portion of the dough and see what happens! This will encourage their creativity while teaching them about different foods in the kitchen.
2. Get your kids to help with the grocery shopping.
Ask your kids to help you when shopping for or preparing a meal with a new ingredient. Has your child ever eaten a bell pepper before? Ask them to pick out the one they think looks best at the store or give them a (child safe) knife and ask them to help you cut a small portion of the ingredient so that when it’s introduced in the meal, it is not scary.
3. If your child can read, ask them to read the recipe while you complete the steps.
Do your kids love quesadillas? Show your young chefs that you trust them by allowing them to read the instructions (you can print them off of the internet or type them up on your own) to you. This will enable kids to feel trusted, build confidence in the kitchen and help them to understand the steps of making a basic meal.
4. Make a family recipe together.
Invite family members over and make a family recipe. While cooking, explain where the recipe came from and why your family makes it. This is a great way to start the conversation with your kids about your personal family history and the traditions that your family helps to keep alive.
5. Have fun!
Being in the kitchen is all about having fun and spending quality time with your family. Is your family obsessed with Food Network competition shows? Recreate one in your own kitchen! Does your family have a collective favorite color? Make a meal using only foods that are that color!
No matter which cooking tips you try, it’s essential to keep in mind that the experience is less about the end result than the cooking process. Even if the meal isn’t entirely edible, making it together is the best recipe for creating special memories.
Do you have any great cooking tips to get kids involved in the kitchen? Share them with us in our Local Anchor Facebook group.