New Mom’s Guide to Cooking with Kids
Every new mom struggles to balance spending time with their kids and doing things for their kids. For whatever reason, cooking has been considered one of those things like kindergarten registration forms that parents need to do in a separate room away from their children. That’s just plain ridiculous. Cooking with kids is a fun way to bond with your kids that ensures they’ll actually eat what’s for dinner while providing them with a valuable life skill. Families that cook together stay together – here are some quick tips for cooking with your kids.
- Involve your kids in food preparation
Cooking with mom should be more than sitting beside mom while she cooks. Make sure there are age and skill appropriate jobs for your kid to do when you are cooking together. Anything from washing vegetables, pouring things into bowls, or setting the table can make them feel involved in what you’re doing. This will build a connection between the two of you while increasing the chances of your kid finishing everything you make together.
- Make foods they actually eat
Chances are your kid (or any kids for that matter) will not care to learn to prepare foods they have no interest in eating. Start by teaching your children how to make their favourite foods to make them more interested in paying attention to your lesson and so that they’ll eventually be able to make these dishes without asking you first.
- Make them clean up
If they’re involved in cooking, they should be involved in cleaning. Again, everything has to be age and skill appropriate but a great way to illustrate consequences and responsibility is through cleaning. If you use a mixing bowl, you have to clean up the mixing bowl and put it back where you found it or it will be filled with mould the next time you go to use it. Which by the way, is very dangerous.
- Don’t leave anyone out
If you have more than one kid and only one of them likes to cook, you obviously have to make an effort to include both kids in you mother-child time, without forcing them to adopt a hobby they aren’t interested in. As kids get older, there’s a good chance they’ll be less interested in cooking with you so while they’re young, make sure that if you’ve got a job for one kid, there is another very similar job waiting for their sibling. More practically, everybody will cook at some point in their lives so it’s kind of your parental responsibility to make sure your child can operate a frying pan (when they are older of course).
- Let them plan dinner
Letting your kids (help) plan dinner is a fun way to ensure that you get at least one eventful family meal per week. Playing an active role in what’s going to be served should make most kids behave and finish their dinners. If they’re involved in cooking their meal choice, you will probably get some encouragement from your spouse and at least some attention (positive or negative) from their siblings. If things go well, you can shift the responsibility for one dinner a week to your kids!