Of all these years of writing, I had never thought of kids recipes, until my son came along.
I have to admit that cooking with a child, it does take longer to finish
a dish. Sometimes, it is way much longer than you expect.
Most of the kids-friendly recipes are not 100% done by the child(ren) throughout. Adults need to be there to supervise.
However, there are a lot of benefits for everybody involved in kids recipes:
1) This is a great bonding time with your child(ren). My mom and I are not very talkative. But we did talk the most while we were cooking in the kitchen.
2) My son is a bit behind when it comes to fine motor skills. But when he is in the kitchen with me, he is a totally different child. He can handle the hand mixer, electric mixer, juice the lemons, sprinkling shredded cheese, cookie cutter,
vadalian onion cutter and so forth. Of course, you must be there to supervise. Any activities in the kitchen could cause accidents.
My son started doing it before he turned 3. So, if a little boy at his age could do this, so as yours.
3) My original plan getting him into the kitchen was to keep him busy and, the most important of all, to expose him to different kinds of food individually.
4) Many parents or experts say that kids tend to eat the food that they helped to cook. It's not 100% true. I do realize that my son would like to try almost everything, voluntarily, while we are cooking or mixing something together. He will tell me what he likes or dislikes.
At the end, it helps him to develop the sense of smell, relationship between the smell and food and vocabularies.
5) While my little one is in the kitchen, I always like to utilize the opportunity to teach him the following things. You can adjust what fit your child(ren) based on age, interests and so forth.
a) Counting - we do this very often when we mix the ingredients
for any baking recipes. When he is proficient in counting in English, I
asked him to count with me in Chinese. If your kid(s) is multilingual,
take the advantage of this, too.
Also, try this method when it comes to building up the vocabularies.
b) Calculation - This mostly happens with the baking recipes, too. For instance, the recipe calls for 3 cups of sugar.
Instead of using a cup measurement, use the 1/2 or 1/4 cup to do it. As I said, it takes longer to complete a recipe. But bear in mind, your child(ren) learns faster in this way. He/she is not under any pressure, but it's play time to him/her.
c) Measuring unit - what is a cup, tablespoon, teaspoon, pound, ounce and more? I suggest teaching to a child at least 6 years of age or above. But don't be afraid to tell them. My 4-year-old just shocked me lately picking up a measuring spoon and told me that what he was holding was a tablespoon. I was so happy and proud of him. You will never know.
d) Science - if you look at the following events through a child's eyes, they are like magic. You can explain to him/her during the process:
- you may get the kick out of this. There was a time my 3-year-old
didn't like the way how I cut an orange. He asked me to put those 2
halves back together and cut it again the way he wanted. I explained to
him that I could not undo what had been done. He was mad at me and
You may think that only toddlers do not understand the consequences. But my mom always quoted this Chinese saying to us even we are adults now. "Once the rice is cooked, you can't make it what it was."
As I mentioned earlier, almost all kids recipes cannot be done by a child 100% except under adult supervision and/or assistance.
While my son is in the kitchen with me, I always make sure that my oven and/or stove is not on. You can consider let him/her to cook by the stove and cutting food when he/she is around 8.
But please do NOT let this scare you. Cooking with your child(ren) is a lot of fun.
Here are some kids recipes suggested to you:
This recipe is super easy to have your kids to join you in the kitchen to do it together. If you have multiple children, assign each one with a task. Here are 4 little tasks you can break down, i.e. making filling, preping the cucumbers, stuffing the cucumbers and wrapping the stuffed cucumbers. They can be done at the same time. Now you spend really good quality time with all of them. (Get Recipe)
Here is one recipe three ways to train your kids' independence. Let your children practice at home when they are out of school for long holiday or school breaks. Then, let them to pack their own lunch. This is one of the ways to give the freedom and independence to your kids. (Get Recipe)
With the summer heat, this is the best dessert for any patriotic holiday weekend and get your kids to learn about cooking and their country. (Get Recipe)
We have this potato hash pretty often at home. I finally had my teenage son to make this together with me. He learned how to peel potatoes, slice and dice them with an onion chopper. Of course, he seasoned them before transferring to the oven. There are many ways to get your children involved in the kitchen. This recipe is great for teenager and prepare them for college life. Have fun! (Get Recipe)
Standing in front of a hot stove top and touching something "slimy" like raw meat could turn somebody away. That's what I learned when I cooked with my son. But we can start doing something moderate, such as dipping French toasts in the egg wash and melting butter on a hot pan. My mom and I created many memories together in the kitchen. Do this together with your kids and give them this gift for the rest of their lives.
You have heard of overnight oat recipes many times. Little do you realize that it is super versatile. You can use things in your pantry or fridge to make your own flavors. That's the way to encourage your kids, of any age, to be creative. (Get Recipe)
As kids get older towards to the college age, following their favorite recipes to make something to cure "home sick" could be challenging. This recipe will teach them reflexibility to adjust the quantity to make just enough for 1-2 people. (Get Recipe)
When it comes to handling knife and oven heat, kids tend to be afraid if they had never done it before. This is a very easy recipe to get them started. After burning a couple batches of kielbasa, my son can take care of this from start to finish all by himself. Failure is part of their lesson to learn. Help your kids to face their fear.
If you love homemade lemonade, this is the perfect recipe to keep your kids busy. My son and I have been making this recipe from scratch since he was a toddler. Now, he can handle it all by himself. You can train your kids to do the same as well. The memories you create together will last for a lifetime. Get their muscles going. (Get Recipe)
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