Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cooking with Kids

Tips, hints and recipes for kids in the kitchen series

You know the pleasure you get from preparing and serving something that your family loves? Children can experience the same satisfaction when they help prepare food for themselves, their friends, or the whole family. It builds their confidence and self esteem and you can get dinner done while spending quality time with them. Just make it fun. Kids will eat what THEY make!

In fact, some professionals believe that cooking is as educational as it is exciting for children. Helping to cook involves several valuable skills important to child development:
•Planning a series of steps in a process
•Using mathematical skills to measure ingredients and time the cooking of foods
•Reading and interpreting written instructions used in recipes
•Expanding creative boundaries
•Mastering teamwork when cooking with adults and other children

Pampered Chef has the products to enable kids to do a good job in the kitchen, eliminating the frustration and impatience because they can “do it themselves!”

Supervision is the key to cooking with kids…they develop cooking skills at different rates so it’s important to have an adult introduce children to skills that match their ability levels. Preparing meals can be more fun and a lot of help when the whole family is involved. Try the following:

All Ages:
•Require washing hands before helping or independent cooking experiences.
•Encourage cooperation in kitchen clean-up.
•Stress safety with cutting tools, ovens, stove tops and appliances.
•Provide simple recipes and instructions.
•Have ingredients on hand for spur-of-the-moment cooking opportunities.
•Be available for help

Ages 3 to 5 years:
•Encourage to “help” - pour or dump ingredients when making cookies, Jell-O etc.
•Let them have their own set of measuring cups & spoons for the sandbox and wading pool or bath.
•Let them tear lettuce for salad, wash fruits and vegetables together.
•Enjoy the clean-up…let them lick the bowl or spoon, “because they were such good helpers”

More age appropriate tips next week!