Cooking with the kids can be insanely fun. In the long run, their children become little kitchen fairies and can really support you. Cooking together also has other great learning effects, like practicing numbers at elementary school age. But all beginnings are hard: in this article, we explain which tasks in the kitchen are suitable for which age and how you can cook together stress-free.
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Children in the kitchen: this is often pure stress for parents. The little ones want to chop and help and also be allowed to cook. In everyday life, that’s almost impossible if you just want to cook quickly at lunchtime or in the evening so that everyone is full. Nevertheless, you can have a lot of fun cooking with the kids.
Cooking with the kids is something you should really set your mind to. Just like that doesn’t work. If the children are already a bit more understanding, you can announce the action. Then it can be discussed what is to be cooked and which tasks the little ones would like to and should take on. The good thing about this is that the sooner you start involving your offspring in the kitchen, the more independent they will become and, ideally, they will take over things on their own.
From a solid kindergarten age, children can often already help with cutting fruit and vegetables. Of course, you shouldn’t expect miracles, but the skill with the peeler can be a nice incentive to show what you can already do.
Help In The Kitchen?
- Around the age of twelve months, children want to get involved. Of course, this is much too early to be of any real help, but you can perhaps give your offspring a compartment or an area where “harmless” kitchen accessories are kept. After all, stirring things around with a whisk is incredibly fun. And there are really great children’s kitchen accessories, such as ravioli made of fabric, that give the feeling of really cooking along.
- At about one and a half years of age, the little ones can already be approached with concrete demands. The principle of parallel cooking can be continued with the addition of small ingredients. Give the child nuts and raisins, ingredients from the kitchen that taste good and can be used to make “soups” and other dishes. And afterwards, taste each other’s dishes.
- From the age of two, children want to and are allowed to help stir and top and set the table. The tasks should be manageable and realistic. And don’t get angry if they spill or miss something.
- At the age of three to four, small errands can already be completed. Asking, “Get me two eggs from the refrigerator, please,” can have an incredible effect on a child’s self-esteem.
- Making pancakes is a great activity for older children, starting around age five. The batter is simply made from a few eggs, some flour and milk, and with a small pan, flipping works well too. Also very popular at this age: scrambling eggs with a whisk and then frying them.
- When the child starts school, simple recipes can already be copied. And while weighing, the numbers are practiced directly.
The Right Tasks
One sentence that mom and dad (and grandma and grandpa, too) should please, please refrain from saying is: “Let me do it, you can’t do it yet. By the way, this is universally valid in human interaction, not only when dealing with children.
If the children’s handling of the knife still seems too dangerous, they can be given easier tasks such as washing up fruit and vegetables and making sandwiches.
If the children are not interested in cooking, you can always encourage them by letting them participate. Announce what’s coming up and always ask if the child would like to help. And such help can also consist of tasting.