Benefits of getting your kids in the kitchen

Cooking with kids

Now that we’re spending more time at home, you probably hear “I’m hungry” from your children at least ten times a day. This could be a good trigger for getting your kids involved in the kitchen to keep them occupied and spend time away from laptops and devices.

It can serve as an alternative lesson as part of their homeschooling where they learn about structure and following instructions, as well as an important life skill for the future.

Get your kids excited about cooking

Sometimes kids think cooking is a chore and part of doing housework, so start by making it fun. One way is to tap into their competitive spirits by organising a little game like a pizza competition where they create their own based on their favourite toppings and doing a blind taste test, or see who can decorate the best looking cupcake. You can even have a mini-Masterchef competition to see who can best recreate one of Poh’s tasty dishes.

A starter for teaching them hygiene and safety

This is a good opportunity for kids to learn about the importance of hygiene as well as how to properly wash their hands (and the dishes). Teach older children how to safely operate kitchen tools and appliances while the younger ones keep away from hot surfaces and sharp objects.

Explore different cuisines together

You can use this opportunity to expand both your and your kids’ culinary skills by learning to cook other cuisines together. One of the best things about living in Australia is the diversity of food and available ingredients, so google recipes from different parts of the world and give it a go.

There are some easy-to-make items from different cuisines around the world, like rice paper rolls from Vietnam, cauliflower hummus from the Mediterrean, spanakopita (spinach pie) from Greece and empanadas from Argentina.

Do prep ahead

If you have a half a day to spare on a weekend, rally your kids to help you ‘prep’ in the kitchen. Make a meal plan or simply think about what food they love to eat during the week that will also last longer and is still good enough when you reheat it.

Classic dishes like lasagna, spaghetti bolognese, quiches and frittatas are great for preparing in advance. You can also pre-bake snacks like cookies, brownies, muffins and banana bread that everyone can munch on during the week.

This means you’ll have things ready for when they start to complain about being hungry and all you have to do is pop it into the microwave or the oven and they’re good to go.

Keep it healthy

One thing that is good about making your own food is that you can make sure that all the ingredients are fresh and healthy. This is also a good way to sneak more veggies into your kid’s diet. Use this as an opportunity to teach kids the importance of eating healthy (and delicious) food instead of pre-packaged items from the supermarket.

It is always a good thing to involve kids in the kitchen. Not only can you make it fun and rewarding, but it means that they’ll be able to help you out when you’re busy and you won’t have to worry about them starving when they eventually move out of home!

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