Infusing flavours together to create culinary delights is something which some people consider a profession, rather than a pastime. Yet, cooking a tasty and healthy meal doesn’t have to be confined to Michelin star rated restaurants and industrial kitchens. The humble kitchen in your home can be just as well equipped for this purpose and if you choose to involve the whole family in the cooking process then the creation of tasty food can be transformed into something both fun and beneficial.
Why involve the kids?
Throughout the year, cooking the family meal is something parents typically consider more of a chore than an enjoyable activity. Children are rarely involved in the day-to-day cooking process as the time constraints of family life force adults to prioritise speed over the benefits of this shared experience.
Yet, with the summer holidays on the horizon, cooking with children could be the perfect way to keep kids entertained and occupied whilst equipping them with life skills. Of course, teaching your children to cook doesn’t have to occur in a structured and formal manner and there are plenty of fun ways in which you can give kids the benefits of your culinary expertise.
Throw a party
Everyone loves a party and summer is the perfect time to get people together and share experiences over a fantastic meal. The great thing about parties is often the food involved comes in the form of small treats – and this means children can get really involved in the preparation process. Assign each child their own job and create something of a mini production line in your kitchen.
Bake special treats
Whilst it’s important to teach children about healthy eating it is also important to reward them with treats now and again. Baking has always been a popular parent-child activity and is a great way to bond with youngsters.
Get them to help you read the recipe and mix the ingredients before employing your kids as official taste testers for the finished product. Assign the task of decorating cakes and biscuits to younger children who may be unable to help with the main preparations.
Start a cooking club
You’ll no doubt find that other parents are looking for ways to entertain their kids over the holidays – so why not join forces and start your own cooking club? This is something which many professional child care services will offer over the summer but there is no reason why you can’t establish it in your own home as well.
Form a group with other parents and then take it in turns to teach the children a different recipe. Remember to keep it basic and look for children’s cookery books if you need inspiration. Children are almost guaranteed to make a mess when cooking so look for recipes which use cheap, stable ingredients – such as flour and eggs.
You could even consider starting your own Master Chef competition, putting the children into groups and getting them to choose their own recipes.
Of course, it’s vital that you always prioritise safety and ensure that the dishes they make requires an appropriate level of skill for their age. Always assist them with any procedures which involve sharp utensils or excessive heat. If cooking with a large number of children then consider receiving assistance from another adult.