Cooking with your family during the holiday season is a great way to start new traditions and keep children engaged while they’re out of school. No matter what holidays you celebrate, cooking will help your kids stay focused on a task and get a sense of accomplishment when the finished product is ready to eat.
Teach Your Children How to Cook With You
Smaller children (ages five and below) can help with simple tasks such as mixing, preparing foods without a knife, and cleanup. Once they are a bit older, around 6 to 7 years old, they can start measuring ingredients and completing more complicated processes, like preparing vegetables with tools or cracking eggs. Past 8 years old, and depending on your child’s comfort level, they can take on any of the responsibilities they find most enjoyable!
It’s important to take extra time with your children to teach them cooking hygiene and safety. As they grow more comfortable in the kitchen, they will remember to wash their hands and stay away from the hot stove. In the beginning, they will need to be reminded throughout the process.
Lessons Your Kids Will Learn
There are a lot of other great lessons your children will pick up from cooking and baking – learning from their mistakes, trying new recipes to grow their skill set, expanding their awareness of different foods, and sharing food with others! When your kids start cooking, and especially if they start at a younger age, you should plan for longer prep time. This is because you’ll need to teach children as they go, facilitate while they complete their tasks, have patience, and also finish your own tasks. That said, once your kids gain knowledge and confidence, they’ll take pride in the finished result and be a big help in the kitchen!