Getting kids into the kitchen – the benefits & some ideas

 

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Even from a very young age kids can help out in the kitchen & if you forget about the inevitable mess (took me a while to cope with this) it can be a fun way to spend time together and you get some food made as a result!  As we know, kids are like sponges and the things that they learn from cooking are real life skills, such as;

  • good health & hygiene (washing hands, hair back)
  • increasing vocabulary (naming utensils, measures, cooking methods, reading recipes etc)
  • counting & measuring
  • basic cooking techniques like mixing, whisking, cracking an egg, chopping (when old enough), cleaning up afterwards (we live in hope), setting the table and learning about nutrition through to preparing a whole meal and menu planning.

Getting kids involved in the kitchen from a young age can help them be informed about food choices.  We have discussions about what is a “sometimes” food, where does the food come from, how does it make you feel afterwards, what is good for you etc.  Being exposed to the preparation of different types of foods could mean (can’t promise but worth a try) that they are more likely to try it and hopefully have a broad palate by the time they are older.

My mindset is, that unless you have specific issues with certain foods, then everything in moderation.  Because I plan out our meals for the week I can have an overview of what we are consuming and work out that if we have had a snack with lots of sugar one day then the thing we make for the next would be without or if we have had toast for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch we would probably have a gluten free meal dinner that day.  While it’s not always possible, (must be realistic here not many of us have time to make their own bread everyday), I do buy processed & packaged food BUT I make a real effort to try to avoid them as snacks, whenever I can, as it’s the preservatives and additives that bothers me.

Obviously home cooked food and the related good health is something that I am really passionate about and want to pass on to my kids and share with all of you so here are some suggestions for getting kids involved in the kitchen

Magic Monkey Fruit

For the young & young at heart Magic Monkey Fruit are a fun treat to make.  I have also written a quick book review about “No More Biscuits” where we got the recipe from.  It’s a sweet book for ages about 3 – 7.

No More Biscuits - book review

Make your own Pizza – a quick & easy and mostly healthy way to get lunch or dinner made by the kids or for the older kids and something a little bit more “gormoi” Cauliflower Pizza’s 

Easy DIY pizza for kids to make

Lunch box friendly Muesli Bars

Lunch box friendly muesli bars

Make your own lunch time wrapssandwiches or toasted sandwiches

Sugar Free Hob Nobs are a winner around here

Sugar Free Hob Nobs

Apple Sauce Pancakes – processed sugar free and can double up as breakfast and a snack

We made these “Fizz & Smash” biscuits for Jamie’s Food Revolution Day this year in May, it’s like a science experiment while cooking

Fizz & Pop Biscuits

Decorating their own Shepherds Pie’s – or if old enough making the whole thing, looking forward to that day!

Individual shepherds pie for the kids

And while this is using store bought raisin toast and english muffins just getting little kids to spread their own is a start to getting involved in the kitchen.

Many ways with English Muffins

Do you try to get your kids into the kitchen? Any ideas to share? 

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