Tips To Encourage Your Kids to Get in the Kitchen

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You might not know it, but your best kitchen assistants are not the Thermomix or air fryer. They are those little hands in the next room tapping away on Minecraft or twiddling their thumbs on TikTok, trying to distract themselves from your demands for them to stop playing and get back to the task at hand. They are the kids who need to be encouraged to join you in the kitchen so that you can both learn new skills and create delicious food together. Cooking together can be a fun way for parents and children to bond, especially during holiday meals or when preparing a special treat for friends and family. It can also help kids develop a love for cooking, a valuable life skill they can use throughout their lives.

Kids need to be involved in the kitchen from a very young age to gain a sense of ownership over their food, making them more willing to try it (especially the food they have helped prepare). It’s all about developing that connection with food and ensuring that kids are excited to eat what they have prepared. Even if it is a plate of scrambled eggs or steamed broccoli that they wouldn’t normally eat, it can be an excellent opportunity to introduce them to something they might like in the future if they are given the chance to experience the dish cooked differently.

When it comes to encouraging your kids to get in the kitchen, it’s essential to start small and with very close supervision (especially with younger kids) and gradually let them take on more tasks as they grow older and more confident in their abilities. This is an excellent way for them to develop independence and build their self-efficacy, confidence, and emotional regulation, as they can practice their skills while you supervise them.

Using the kitchen as a learning environment can also be an excellent way for kids to engage their other senses. For example, if you are baking bread, allowing your kids to feel and smell the dough as it rises can be an effective sensory activity for them. You can also help them explore how foods are grown and processed by taking them to the local market and allowing them to pick their vegetables from the garden or tour a local farm.

If you want to encourage your kids to keep up the excellent work in the kitchen, invest in some kid-friendly aprons and have them decorate them as a weekend art project. This will provide them with a tool they can proudly use whenever they are helping in the kitchen, and they will be eager to wear it. Consider starting a garden with your kids, even if it is just a tiny container of basil that they nurture and use to make homemade pesto.

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