With families spending so much time at home, now is a terrific time to teach kids all about the fun and fundamentals of cooking and baking. Here are six quick tips to get started.
- Include your kids in meal planning. Encourage them look through magazines and cookbooks or go online with them and choose one new recipe each week, then add the ingredients to your grocery list.
- Give kids age-appropriate tasks. Depending in the age, kids can carry out many kitchen tasks, like reading the recipe, measuring and adding ingredients, turning on the mixer and using a kitchen timer. And, don’t forget clean up!
- Make it a lesson in math. Cooking and baking is a great opportunity to talk about fractions and measurements using cups and spoons. You can even toss in a couple conversion questions for older children or teens to answer or research by asking them questions, like “How many tablespoons are in a cup?” “How many teaspoons are in a tablespoon?” “How many cups are in a pint?”
- Tap into your senses. Ask your child to describe the taste, texture, color and smell of the ingredients you’re using and how those elements change when they are combined or cooked or baked.
- Provide them with their own tools. Having their own tools, whether it’s an apron or set of mixing spoons, measuring cups or spoons, gives them a sense of ownership and belonging.
- Enjoy your cooking creations together. And, try not to worry about the mess. Life is a little messy right now, so relax, go with the flow and let a little flour fly.
Note: Safety is top priority when cooking and baking with kids. Remind them to wash their hands before touching food, avoid handling hot items without potholders or proper help, and practice sensible knife safety.