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Leisure

Teach Your Child the Basics of Cooking

Children enjoy baking with their parents, especially when parents are baking the good stuff; brownies, cakes, cookies, pies, etc. yet what happens when it’s time to cook? The kitchen is usually cleared. Many parents don’t bother teaching their young children how to cook, they usually wait until they are in high school and have to be self-sufficient. Yet, teaching the basics of cooking at an earlier age will not only help to make the teaching time run smoother, it will also help children gain other skills that you never thought cooking could do.

The first thing you’ll want to teach your children, of any age, about cooking is the safety of handling raw foods. Have them keep the following rules enforced while they are in the kitchen:

  • Keep their hands clean. Every time they handle food, they should wash them thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Keep raw foods and cooked foods separate, this will ensure safety from bacteria when it’s time for dinner.
  • Never lick their fingers after handling food, ever.
  • Foods need to be cooked in the proper temperature.
  • All raw foods, vegetables, and fruits must be washed before eating or handling.
  • If you are working with a gas stove be sure clothing, hair and other flammable materials are at least five feet from the flame.
  • Keep flames to a minimal when cooking.
  • Steer clear from all oven top pans with grease and boiling water in them, be sure they understand never to reach for or grab the handle of pots on the stove.

These safety precautions should inform your child of the dangers of cooking in the kitchen, not to scare them but to make them aware of the things that can be harmful to themselves and other family members if the rules are not followed properly.

Preschool
Children at the preschool stage are not able to follow recipe directions, which are a great learning tool for children; therefore, the best activities to include your preschooler in are those that require washing, especially the fruits and vegetables or shucking of the corn, stirring and cleaning and setting the kitchen table.

Although preschoolers cannot read the recipes you can help them with the basic math measurement concepts by reading to them the measurements needed for a certain ingredient and showing them the measurement on the measuring cup. “We need two cups of milk; here is where the two cup line is. So we will have to fill this cup up to here on the measuring glass.”

Allow your children to pour and stir. Throughout the cooking process, you can pick them up to show them how the stove makes the food boil and cook.
Main points to address:

  • Make sure they understand safety precautions.
  • Allow them to stir and help to measure ingredients.
  • Continuously show them the process that is taking place inside the pans.

Grades K-6th
When you are cooking with younger children who cannot read they can either use the pictures to guide them or you can read the instructions and they can mix, measure and pour. Allowing your children to be hands on is the best way to teach them how to cook. That’s really when they learn the most when they don’t think they are learning anything at all.

For children who know how to read having them read the ingredients and the instructions are a great way to get them to understand the basic concept of using ingredients and instructions to create a masterpiece. Sometimes to help them understand the use of seasonings you can give them a taste of the food before the seasoning and then after.

Find Kid Friendly recipes that you can cook together:

Main points to address:

  • Make sure they understand safety precautions.
  • Allow to read the recipe and give you the instructions if they can read.
  • If they can’t read allow them to do the mixing, pouring and stirring.
  • Find fun, kid friendly ingredients that you can cook together.

Resources
Resources that can help you in your venture include:

Posted in Leisure.

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