Cooking with your children can be a rewarding -- and messy -- experience. How do you keep everyone safe? How can you make the experience fun? Here are some tips on cooking with kids.
1. Plan Ahead. The key to a successful kitchen adventure is in the planning. Sit down with your kids to decide on a recipe, make a list of necessary ingredients, go shopping for those items, then come back and organize them all on the counter. Making sure you have everything you need now will go a long way toward ensuring a stress-free cooking experience.
2. Be Safe and Supervise. After you have washed your hands, make sure the work area is safe. This involves checking the counter top or table is at a good height for the child so they can reach everything they need. Don't place any sharp objects such as knives within reach. Supervise at all times and avoid leaving the kitchen for any reason while cooking is taking place.
3. Apply Learning Principles. Cooking is the perfect time to teach basic math and measurements, says PBS.org. Let your child fill the measuring cups and count out the necessary amount of stirs for the batter.
4. Make Fun Creations. Most kids frown on new fruits and veggies when they're told they must eat them. If you make a fun food creation such as funny face veggie pizza or fruit kabobs on a stick, you make it more likely that they will eat it -- and love it! In the same vein, use cookie cutters to make creative shapes out of sandwiches.
5. Teach Kids the Importance of Cleaning. While cooking can be fun, cleanup is a necessary part of the whole process. To make this task less arduous, make up a silly song about cleaning.
Cooking with kids doesn't have to be stressful -- in fact, it should be fun! So follow these tips for a successful time in the kitchen with your little ones.