Cooking is thought to be an adult’s job. But, nowadays children seem to have extraordinary culinary skills. The plethora of reality shows can vouch for that! You will be surprised at what these tiny hands can whip up! And if you are trying to get your child to eat healthy, then there is no better way than to introduce them to the kitchen. You can get the entire family together to cook. Invite some friends over and let them taste the amazing dish that your little one makes. It is also a great way to teach them to feed themselves in case you are not around or are not feeling too well. Some children are born with a gift while some just love to experiment – either ways having your little one in the kitchen can be a great fun activity and who knows you might just discover India’s next most famous chef!
Here are some tips that can make cooking fun for you and your child:
1) The first factor to consider is safety. Ensure that all your kitchen appliances like knives, peelers, graters etc. are child-friendly. These do the job and are completely harmless.
2) Second, make sure you enter the kitchen with lots of patience. Children will take time to understand and to prepare something. For a child the end result isn’t as important as the whole process – so make sure you make it fun and educational for them without losing patience.
3) Pick a recipe that is easy to make and preferably is a dessert – kids love brownies, cookies, cakes etc. and a yummy tasting batter/dough would keep them going!
4) When it comes to using the oven or the stove, then make sure you take over at this point.
5) Take this opportunity to teach your child about hygiene – ask them to wash their hands before and after cooking. Also teach them to wash the vegetables thoroughly.
6) Expect the kitchen to get messy! Don’t yell at your kids and make cleaning afterwards a fun activity too! Use plastic sheets or newspapers everywhere to minimise the mess – this way you can just toss them in the trash can once your child finishes cooking.
7) Dress them up! Aprons and chef hats are not only practical, but they will look adorable too!
8) While cooking you can teach them about the nutritional values of foods, the various techniques of cooking, which food comes from which region, which dish is a specialty of which area and other such useful information. Cooking can be educational too!
9) Give room for creativity – let them add their own touch to the dish. Don’t discourage them!
10) Fun is the key ingredient here – play some music, have a flour fight, sing some cooking songs (or just make up your own!) and relax! Let it be a memory that you and your child will cherish even after many years.