I’ll be the first to admit, having your kids help you cook and/or teaching them how to cook, can be stressful! You want to let them help so bad, but you also want to keep your sanity and patience (and your kitchen somewhat clean?!)
Teaching our children and ourselves the life skill of cooking is so important. And you don’t need to be a top chef either. There’s always something for every skill level in the kitchen and it comes with a great sense of pride and accomplishment when you are able to make a meal. Some days, depending on the task, cooking with your kiddos requires more patience than others. But once you let them get in there to help out, and you see how much they’re learning and all the fun they’re having (hopefully!), it’s totally worth all the stress and mess!
Plus, we all have access to millions of recipes right at our fingertips. With Pinterest, The Food Network, Facebook and YouTube (and cookbooks if you still have them), we have no reason not to teach our kids….or ourselves (husbands?!) basic cooking skills.
Make it fun for all of you ~ embrace the mess! These are the types of memories you will all treasure when you look back years from now or that you’ll think of every time you make your favourite recipe together. I’ve been teaching my boys and having them help me in the kitchen since they were toddlers. They both had their own cute little apron, which made them feel like a real chef and they’d pull the chair right up to the counter to stir things around and add in the ingredients. Not only was it valuable quality time spent together, but they also felt a sense of pride that they were making something (great?! 😉 )!
When they were younger, sometimes I’d award one of my boys ‘King of the Week’ which meant that if their behaviour had been pretty decent for that week, they got to pick a night of the week the for the following week, decide what they wanted for their ‘king’ supper and they’d help to plan and make it. This also helped out with our weekly menu planning.
We’re also big fans of the Food Network, so they like role playing the whole ‘Master Chef’ thing before we start to eat! One of them will be the chef and describe what he’s made for us and then the rest of us have to eat and critique!! It’s so cute to watch them be so into it and so proud of what they’ve created!
The other bonus part is that they’ll be keeping up with their language and math skills while they’re at it. Shhhhhh…..! Just have fun with it. Cooking doesn’t necessarily mean having to turn the oven on. There are so many oven/stove free recipes to test out. You’ll always find something for everyone no matter what age and skill level they’re at. Have a browse at some of these great recipes and have fun mixing up something with your kiddos. Whatever it is that you cook up together, always begin with teaching your children how to stay safe in the kitchen while cooking and how to cook safely.
Check out and go over some of these great safety tips and cooking tips with your kiddos:
Safety in the Kitchen
And when they start to play the, “I’m bored” card, have your kids go on Pinterest, look through a cookbook or come up with their own recipe to make. Whatever it is you have your children help you out with in the kitchen, the key is to keep it fun and engaging so they’ll want to continue with it.
As always, I wanna hear what your kiddo’s favourite food to make is. 😀
Click here for more sweet and savoury breakfast recipes to try.
This pancake recipe is the one my youngest’s favourite he likes to make!
Jack's Perfect Pancakes
- Frying Pan, Stovetop
- 1 ½ c unbleached white flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp Stevia powder *could also use 1 tbsp of maple syrup
- 1 ¼ c milk *almond milk is also good to use in this recipe
- 3 tbsp melted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ c add ins such as: dark chocolate chips, berries, cut up fruit
- In a large bowl, add all the dry ingredients together and mix
- Add in milk*(see note below), egg, melted butter and vanilla. Mix with a whisk until evenly blended
- Lightly coat your large skillet with butter over medium heat and pour in 1/2 cup batter.
*Hint- we don't own a microwave so the pan I cook the pancakes in the same pan I melt the butter in. Be sure to remove your pan from the heat after you add the butter to the mix. That way the pan will not burn but it will stay lightly coated with butter when you're ready to cook
- Flip when bubbles start to appear on the top of the pancake, (approx 2 mins in) and then cook opposite side until slightly golden.
- For each additional pancake, re-coat skillet with butter before cooking. I like to cook the entire bowl then keep any leftover pancakes in the fridge to reheat in the toaster for the next morning's breakfast