Cooking is a social event. And it is also a good time to teach kids the joys of cooking. Of course, cooking with kids can be an ordeal. For some parents, it can be inviting disaster. That is why it pays to learn how to cook safely with kids.
Think about it; kids are an energetic lot. They love to do a lot of things, and they often stay focused on what they like. With this kind of dedication, doesn’t it make sense to channel all those potentials to cooking? It is a very rewarding affair, and it can promote closeness between parent and child. It also teaches kids certain skills that can help them when they grow up.
So how does one go about it? There are several things that one has to bear in mind:
Time is not of the essence. The most successful cooking activity with kids is one where you do not rush along with the clock. A good rule of thumb is to double the amount of time needed to prepare a dish when you are teaching kids.
Good habits die hard. Teach your kids good hygiene. From washing their hands, clipping nails, to tying the hair, these practices should be stuck in their minds. Teach them how to disinfect counter tops and the sink using the sponge and dishtowels.
Safety first. You should spend time teaching your kids basic safety principles and how to maintain it. Teach them about bacteria and how to kill them. Also, show them how to handle hot foods and cold food, and how to best store them. Demonstrate how to safely use the stove and the oven. Show them how to properly fry, steam, saute, boil, etc. food.
The content matters. Teach your kids the basics of ingredients. For example, in baking, tell them how baking soda or yeast works. It is also a good time for you to explain the different kinds of salts and other ingredients (you can get a lot of those tips here or by watching one of our favorites – Alton Brown).
Measure with precision. Teach your kids how to measure different ingredients accurately. It is also a good time to let them practice with measurements and how to calculate with precision different measurements.
It is all in the recipe. Reading and understanding recipes is also a task that you should teach your kids. Once they know how to follow the instructions, they can actually do the cooking on their own.
Clean before you go. Before they leave the kitchen, make sure that they cleaned up the place properly.