As each year goes by, my kids are ready to take on more responsibility in keeping our household running and clean.
I am a firm believer in family contributions!
I want my children to grow up taking their own, age-appropriate initiative in our home. Is this a high hope? Possibly, but by creating routines, providing them with opportunities to feel pride over their contributions and setting expectations when they are younger, I am setting a plan in place for success. At east, that is my hope!
Right now, one of my daughter’s biggest interests, in the house, is to learn how to cook. Over the past few years, I have involved her more and more when I bake muffins, pancakes, grilled cheese and other easier items. AND, this past weekend, my husband involved her in cooking his now famous Beef Taquitos.
This is a photo of my daughter and husband cooking together at my Mother-In-Law’s house. My daughter felt such pride over the meal that she and my husband cooked together. It was truly heart-warming to see her announce to my amazing Mother-In-Law that she had prepared dinner for that night AND that she had made enough for leftovers to be placed in the freezer for another day. Not only was she given an opportunity to learn how to cook, but she also had a wonderful experience spending some one-on-one quality time with her Dad, something that she has been seeking lately.
The more involved she gets, the more risks my daughter is comfortable making. This includes chopping with sharp knives and cooking on the hot stovetop. I am still not ready to allow her to open the oven, unless I am able to find her full-body heat protection!
Ideas for getting the kids involved in the kitchen:
- Take baby steps – start them off when they are really little by sitting them in their high chair near you so that they can watch you. Talk to them about what you are doing. You can be the star of your very own cooking show. Even if they are too young to understand, that interaction and language exposure is very important in your little one’s development.
- Involve them early – give them spoons, measuring cups and possibly even a few ingredients to play with while you are cooking or baking. This allows your little one the opportunity to feel involved and will keep them out of trouble while you are busy in the kitchen.
- Start with pre-measured ingredients – children often want to jump right in and take over. If you plan ahead and take a few extra minutes before your child helps you, you can pre-measure and pre-cut ingredients for them to pour or add. This allows them to feel involved and to take ownership of adding specific ingredients, but you don’t have to worry about them over-adding certain ingredients that look particularly delicious to them and possibly “ruin” the outcome.
- Give your child their OWN item to make – if you are making something like pie, give your child their own small ball of dough to knead and roll out. You can even help them make a mini-pie! You can give them their own cookies to decorate or their own salad ingredients to make a creation of their own.
It is always a good idea to be prepared for mishaps when you start to involve your children in the kitchen. I highly recommend that you have a fully stocked first aid kit. This includes bandages as well as more specialized items like Orange Naturals burn cream. Orange Naturals Burn Relief homeopathic cream aims to soothe and relieve relieve the pain of minor burns, scalds or sunburns.
- All natural first aid cream with soothing medicinal ingredients
- No artificial colours
- Fragrance free cream
- No parabens, petroleum, lanolin or propylene glycol
- Safe and non-toxic
- Gluten-free (safe for external use by those sensitive to absorption of wheat or gluten)