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Cooking with Kids – How to series 4

Cooking with Kids- How to series 4

What first? -Cooking with Kids

The best way to get children interested in cooking is to give them easy recipes that they can have success with quickly.  Cooking with kids is really quite easy once you get the hang of it.  You just assess your child, their interests, and the recipe.  It is true that any recipe will have something a child can help you do to make an awesome dish.  However, we want to have the children learn the skills as well as experience success.  This how to series is set up so that the recipes are organized in such a manner that you can show the child a recipe, practice the recipe with a child then allow the child to “teach” the same recipe to you, a friend or a sibling in order to foster independence in the kitchen as quickly and safely as possible.

Cooking with kids recommends high interest, quick and easy  no heat or cooking level 1a recipes first:

No recipe needed: Pudding (from the box) –pour into a ready made graham cracker crust for a quick and easy pie

Pudding pies with a few extras: fall Pumpkin pie, pistachio pie

Cereal bars are a quick , tasty breakfast or snack!

Apple snacks- trail mix dip, Smiles, Cream cheese fruit dip

Chocolate Chip ‘lasagna’ 

A yummy gluten free, egg free chocolate chip cookie dough snack- great for dipping graham crackers or (Cooking with Kids– How to series level 3a pudding cookies. )

Want to work on a ‘real meal’ rather than just dessert? Try making your own Mexican seasoning mix for tacos.

Gift ideas from children at this level could included gifts in a quart jar- just layer dry ingredients in the jar.  Put a label and ribbon on the jar.  These mixes could also be dumped in a ziploc for quick assembly at a later date.  Here are a couple  gifts in a jar recipes:   homemade body scrub, Brownie mix in a jar.

Cooking with kids- how to Hamilton beach mixer, Amazon

Hamilton Beach mixer available from Amazon

Cooking with Kids-How to series first level recipes are simple measure and mix, no cutting, no bake or heat.

Read Cooking with Kids– How to series 1, 2,  and 3.

Cooking with Kids – How to Series Part 2

Cooking with Kids – How to Series Part 2

Why and When: Cooking with Kids

As you start cooking with kids there will be moments when your child is not actively engaged and you need to be prepared with something for them to do while you work on the adult steps of the recipe.  This part of the series addresses why and when you have the children in the kitchen.  In those moments, then have them work on this list of cleanupCleaning up as you go is a very important step to teach children so they don’t create a hurricane kitchen mess that has to be cleaned up later- a job noone wants!
Why have your child in the room with you? So you can teach them, have quality time with them and protect them.  Learning to cook is a life skill that incorporates Science, Math, and Reading comprehension.   Whether you are homeschooling full time or part time (how I label parents who are involved after school hours!) cooking with kids provides an excellent teaching time and life skill.  Teaching them includes answering their questions.    If you have not had your children in the kitchen with you, then cooking with kids will allow opportunities to test your patience.  You need to answer the many questions that are sure to come.  If you don’t know the answer then look it up and even in doing so you will teach your child to seek out the answers needed! Online tools such as this conversion chart are great for printing and keeping handy while cooking with kids.   The questions may not be the only thing you need to be prepared for…my kitchen is super small.  I have to be careful not to trip over or bump into my children when they are with me in the kitchen so I have to be more aware of my surroundings and slow down a bit.  So, I can only have my children in the kitchen when they know what they are doing and or I am able to slow down my meal prep in order to accomodate them.

Curious Chef 17 piece measure and prep kit 

Both you and your child should be acclimated to having one another around in the kitchen before you start cooking with kids!

Read the  first Cooking with kids- How to series 1

Make sure you have the ingredients for these cereal bars in your kitchen so you are ready for a cooking with kids beginner recipe!
September 13, 2013

Cooking with Kids – How to Series Part 1

Cooking with Kids- How to Series Part 1

What and Where: Cooking with kids

Supper time has arrived, the children are needy and you are worn out…instead of putting the children in front of a screen (be it TV, Wii or a handheld device) take them in the kitchen with you.  Then what?! You need to teach them what to do to help you.  First thing they need to know is where things are and where they belong.  We recommend you keep the more dangerous items (ingredients as well as utensils) higher in the kitchen so the children are less likely to get into those items.  After this first crucial step-where things are or where they belong is taught you will be able to work a recipe while your child gets the ingredients and tools out for you.  If you ask your child to get the ingredients and tools you name out for you, then they will learn the proper names as well as see how a tool is utilized.  The stirrer thing is not the name for a whisk- so be sure to use the proper name.
Have your child stand near you and watch what you do as you make a recipe.  As he or she watches, answer the questions they are sure to ask! Don’t be upset by the inquiries, those are how a child learns – and ever so importantly, it is how you learn what your child understands and what they need to know.
Very young children can bring a can of tomatoes or beans to you from the pantry by simply looking at the picture on the can.  Having a small step stool nearby in the kitchen allows your little one to access things they would normally be unable to reach.  This will help their gross motor skills and balance.  If your child is a climber then a stool with a couple of steps may be too much of an invitation for your child to get into trouble in the kitchen when you are not around.  Feel free to put up the stool when you are not in the kitchen with him or her.
Any recipe you make can be a recipe with your child when you have him or her get ingredients out for you, put dirty utensils in the sink, wipe the counter and put up ingredients.  Not only will your child be spending time with you he or she will be saving you time!  Be sure to thank him or her and perhaps even use the “saved” time by playing a quick game with him or her.

Cooking with kids will help you as well as your kids.

One way to prepare for this adventure is to get the proper tools:  have this list ready and this conversion chart on the refrigerator! You can also get the ingredients ready for this recommended first recipe for cooking with kids– cereal bars.