Usually cooking and kids don’t go hand in hand. There are sharp knives, hot pans, and sometimes small kitchens that make it hard to have a group going all at once. But with summer on the horizon and BBQs, picnics, and many more poolside activities coming up (that all focus on delicious food), it’s a great time to think about getting the kids involved. Cooking with your children offers up many potential bonding and learning moments, so don’t shy away from the idea. We have a few tips for how to cook with kids of all ages.
Benefits of Cooking with Kids
Why would you want to cook with your kids? Well, it’s a great chance to talk to your kids about family history. When you pull out that weathered recipe card of your grandmother’s apple pie or green bean casserole, talk to your child about the grandmother. Share the family stories and your own memories of what life was like for you growing up. This can be particularly beneficial for adoptive parents whose child is growing up and becoming curious about family members, family history, and their own personal story. Use the recipes as a way to talk about traditions and create a chance for your child to ask questions and show you what they are curious about.
Cooking isn’t just for stories, either. It’s a great parenting help, too! When kids help prepare food, they are more likely to eat it later on. So if you have a picky eater, make sure and have them snap green beans, peel potatoes, or sprinkle the brown sugar on the sweet potatoes. Any involvement will increase their interest and make them want to taste it later on. So while you bond over stories, you encourage your child to take an interest in their food and even learn about measuring, sharing, counting, and science, too!
Cooking with Young Children
There’s something for a child of any age, too, so long as you do a little planning. Preschoolers learn a lot from watching, so let them see how dishes come together and if they can feel, taste, and even play with some food parts go ahead and let them enjoy. Down the road, this may pay off when you try to introduce new foods to your child.
Cooking with Teens
We all know the occasional sullenness of teenagers who would rather be on their phones than participate in the family meal. If you are facing such a teen this year, consider letting them pick a favorite dish to have so long as they do some of the prep work. That will help keep them in the kitchen and talking.
This spring and summer, enjoy some family bonding over cooking let it turn into a family tradition that you can all savor.
If you have any questions about the adoption process, you can easily contact us and we will be happy to help.