Ways to Get Your Kids In the Kitchen
As mothers who are trying our best to live an intentional, sustainable life, the best gift we can give our children is knowledge.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to worry a lot over my children’s wellbeing and education. I’m always wondering… Are they engaged enough? Are they on the right track? Are they learning what they need to learn in order to keep up in school?
But some things aren’t taught in the classroom. And those skills can be the most important of all.
I’ve learned that it’s so important to take an active role in my children’s nutrition. But that doesn’t just mean that I need to make sure whatever’s on their plate is healthy. To me, that means that I need to teach my children to care about what they put into their bodies. I need to help my children understand the difference between healthy foods and unhealthy foods. I need to teach them, step by step, how to take care of themselves, from purchasing food to preparing food to eating it.
Eating right is the foundation for good nutrition, so it’s absolutely crucial to help your children form a positive relationship with food early on. So if you want to prepare your children to live healthy lives well into adulthood, start including them in the kitchen!
If you don’t love cooking, that’s okay. Start with super basic healthy recipes and go from there. Once they see you making an effort to cook and eat healthy food, your kids will want to join in!
Here are five fun, easy ways to include your kids in the kitchen.
Take them to buy produce.
Start involving them from the very beginning! Let your kids know what you’re planning on making later and put them in charge of finding certain ingredients. (Remember to bring along reusable bags!)
Wash and prep ingredients.
Next, ask them to help you wash and prepare the ingredients, demonstrating the proper way to do it first. My youngest daughter (who’s almost 3) loves helping out this way. The last time we cooked a meal together, she helped me rinse veggies, pull stems off, sprinkle salt, and pour in chopped garlic.
Measure (or count out) ingredients.
Use cooking as an impromptu math lesson! Teach older kids how to accurately measure ingredients. Help them understand the difference between teaspoons and tablespoons, ¼ cup & ½ cups, etc. For younger kids, encourage them to count out ingredients. I’ll often ask my youngest to count out blueberries for muffins or chocolate chips for cookies.
Stir and taste test.
My favorite part! Once the dish is underway, ask children to take turns stirring. Encourage them to taste things in order to judge whether the dish is done or not. (Though in my family, we do plenty of taste testing along the way, too!)
Once the food is finished cooking, put your children in charge of arranging it on each plate. Encourage them to embrace their creative side and see what they come up with!
Kids are never too young to start their healthy relationship with food. And it’s never too late to start cooking together as a family.
Still wondering how cooking with your children could benefit you as a family? Read my latest post!