Cooking with kids can be fantastic fun, but it can also be stressful on parents.
Here are a few hints from moms who've survived cooking with young children.
Tip 1. Keep it Age Appropriate
Think about the ages of your child(ren) and come to terms with the realities before you begin.
Toddlers love to get involved, but their attention spans are short and they're likely to make a mess.
Have a few simple steps ready for them to perform -- like adding and mixing a few dry ingredients. You may consider having an extra mixing bowl and spoon with possibly a few extra ingredients so that nothing too important gets lost.
Tip 2. Create a safe, fun cooking environment.
The challenge of enabling children to reach counter level in order to assist with cooking has gotten easier these days. Instead of letting your child stand on a chair to reach the counter or sink, you can get a Kitchen Helper Safety Stool that allows your child to safely stand at the right height to help.
My twin sister Susan bought one of these from our online store a few years ago (in addition to blogging, we also have an online store with fun, safe & educational toys). Julia who is almost five has been enjoying the Kitchen Helper stand for years and now her two year old sister Sophia uses it daily too.
One of Julia and Sophia's favorite activity is actually "helping wash dishes" and they both stand in the stool together and play at the sink endlessly.
Tip 3. Let them choose.
Have your children help choose and prepare a simple recipe for dinner. When kids are involved in selecting and preparing dinner, it's more likely they'll actually eat their dinner -- even the vegetables.
One way to make this work easily is to create your own family cookbook with your family's favorite recipes (that you're able to prepare with your kids) and show pictures of the different recipes. Then let your children browse through the cookbook and choose what they want to make.
You'll know that the recipes are healthy and easy to prepare and they'll be empowered and excited to make and EAT dinner.
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