Thursday, June 1, 2023
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Tips To Get Your Children Into Cooking

If you are a parent, and particularly one who likes to cook, it’s like you want to get your child into cooking too. After all, besides the obvious plus point of it meaning they can provide for themselves when they get older, there are also many other positives to knowing how to cook. By doing so, you tend to be much more aware of your own health and the nutrients you are eating, leading a better lifestyle. It is also a great social activity and something you can do with them, or that they can do with others. Cooking also works out as more cost-effective than buying things such as ready or processed meals so can save money too. If you are looking to encourage your child to get into cooking, we have put together some top tips to help you out and encourage them to begin their foray into the world of foodies. 


Teach them about different types of food


The world is a real foodie paradise and one of the first steps when it comes to engaging your children in cooking is to teach them all about this. Teach them about different types of cuisines and where different food comes from around the world. You could have them trying different types of curries from India, teaching them about the different spices and herbs, or about how people in France enjoy delicacies such as snails and cheeses like camembert or brie. You can also explain how different countries have adopted their own recipes for things such as this Texas caviar recipe. There are so many things for them to learn and it’s a great way to set the foundation for future cooking!


Encourage them to help you with basic techniques


Cooking can feel daunting to a child, particularly if they haven’t really done much before. This is why it’s important to start off simple. Get them to do things such as mixing together basic ingredients or helping you to measure things in a bowl. Tell them what you are doing as you do it and explain why. Tell them what certain ingredients can do to a recipe and how they can help with things such as the flavor, texture or consistency. This should help to get them interested and feel they are playing a real part in cooking the meal. Be sure to continuously ask them if they have any questions about what you are doing and if they have any ideas!


Take them grocery shopping with you 


If you have a fussy child who doesn’t really like to eat much or who is interested in learning to cook, taking them grocery shopping is a great thing to do together. By doing this you can actively get them involved, having them pick out ingredients they choose. You could go with a list, or you could choose a recipe beforehand that you pick together. Have them choose what they want to cook for you both (or for the family) and then tell them you need to go and buy certain things for this. You could write them a list that they need to follow, finding all the relevant items. It can help them to be better at identifying produce, knowing more about the prices of things and understanding how the whole process of cooking works from the start until the end. When the meal is done it can also feel a greater achievement for them, knowing they have been involved right from choosing the bare basics to dishing the meal up. Many children find it difficult to fathom how ingredients become a meal so this is a great way to show them just how the process works.


Let them taste the food as they go

Another great tip on encouraging your children to get into cooking is to let them taste the food as you go. Cooking, after all, is a very hands-on and sensory experience where they can try out a host of new smells, sights, textures and things to taste. By having them sample the food as you go, it can help them to get used to different flavours and try new things. You can also get them to tell you how things change once they are cooked, for example how vegetables go from being crunchy to soft, or how cheese goes from being solid to melted. It’s important to remind them about things they aren’t allowed to taste when it’s not cooked, such as raw meat, and to encourage them to wash their hands as they go. Make sure you tell them why they can’t taste raw meat and what it can do to their stomach. By giving more information on the reasoning behind it, it can make more sense to them and help them with their understanding.


Embrace the mess in the kitchen


Unfortunately, cooking is messy and there isn’t much you can do about it. If you find yourself getting het up about the mess it can create a tense and stressful environment that can put the child off cooking in the future. Instead, embrace it while you are cooking, but stress the importance of getting everything clean either as you go, or once you are done. Express the importance of good hygiene and teach them where everything goes in the kitchen, encouraging them to help you to tidy up once you have finished cooking.


These are just a few top tips that should help to get your children into cooking. The sooner you encourage them to embrace food and ingredients, the easier it will be and the more they will not only enjoy cooking with you, but also enjoy trying different sorts of foods. They are less likely to be a fussy eater and will instead be open to trying ingredients, flavors and food. Are your kids into cooking? What are some top tips you did to help encourage them to be interested in this? Let us know, we would love to hear from you!

Edel Alon
Edel Alon
Edel-Ryan Alon is a starving musician, failed artist, connoisseur of fine foods, aspiring entrepreneur, husband, father of two, geek by day, cook by night, and an all around great guy.


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