Here at Tovla Jr., cooking is one of the top skills we believe parents should pass on to their children. For many parents, teaching kids how to cook can feel quite overwhelming, and you might be unsure where to start with this task. The good news is we’re here to help. Keep reading to discover everything you need to know to teach your child to cook safely and equip them with valuables skills they’ll use every day in their adult life.
The first thing to keep in mind when teaching kids how to cook is safety in the kitchen. Before you start any cooking activities, make sure you share with your child how to prepare to cook a meal. Washing their hands is always the first thing you should do together, which needs to be for 20 seconds with warm water and soap. Make sure they are wearing the correct clothing for cooking, and tie back any long hair, so it’s away from their face. A huge part of kitchen safety for children is keeping your kitchen surfaces clean and tidy. This will help to avoid trips and spills, which can really put a child off cooking in the future.
Kitchen Tools for Kids
One of the most dangerous things you can do as a parent when you teach your child to cook is encourage them to use full-sized tools. Small hands simply aren’t big enough to handle knives and other kitchen tools, so keep this in mind when you are first teaching kids to cook. We highly encourage you to invest in our kitchen tools set, which will make them feel much more comfortable in the kitchen. Young children will enjoy having their own set of tools, which will allow you to teach them cooking skills that are appropriate for their age group. You can use our tools to teach them basic skills before building up from there to more challenging tasks. We recommend starting with measuring ingredients, spreading butter, mashing potatoes, and rolling dough before expanding the activities you do in the kitchen.
Teach Them to Work Independently
When teaching kids to cook, you should encourage them to work independently as they get older. While this isn’t something you should do with toddlers, as they get more confident in the kitchen, encourage them to work on simple tasks alone. Confidence is something we all need in every aspect of our lives, and the kitchen is one of the best places to improve their self-esteem. When your child reaches the age of 10 or so, they should be able to enjoy cooking basic recipes all alone. Let your child choose their favorite recipe so that they enjoy cooking the dishes that they love eating. Of course, make sure you bring up nutrition in the kitchen as well. While baking is usually the easiest way to introduce your child to cooking, try to ensure you are offering them some healthy recipes from time to time.
One of the reasons we hear that parents don’t want to teach their child to cook is due to the mess that it’s going to make in the kitchen. There’s no denying that cooking can get messy at times, but you can do certain things to make cleaning up as you go much easier. We recommend setting your child up with a station for their cooking, which would include a surface that’s set at their height. Put a trash bowl or bin right by them, so all of the trash and leftovers can go directly into the bowl.
As soon as they are finished with their cooking or preparation, it’s time to tidy up. Keep their work area limited as much as possible, so you aren’t spreading mess everywhere. Each time you finish cooking, include your child in the cleaning up process. They need to learn that this is just as important as the cooking itself, and you’ll soon find that tidying up becomes a habit for them. If you have multiple children cooking at one time, try to make cleaning up fun by creating a competition. You’ll find that this soon distracts them from the more boring part of cooking and keeps them motivated to get your kitchen back to how it was before you started teaching kids how to cook.
Find Age Appropriate Recipes
While it’s tempting to think that you can teach your child to cook complex recipes and help you prepare dinner, focus on finding fun and interactive dishes that they’ll enjoy cooking. You’ll find there are hundreds of great recipes online today, all of which are ideal for children of different ages. Don’t try to push your child too far when you first start teaching kids how to cook, and instead, focus on simple baking recipes. Cookies, muffins, and cupcakes are some of the easiest treats to get your child involved with, but of course, you should also look at recipes with fruits and vegetables. Smoothies are an easy way to show your child how you can add more nutrients to your daily meals, and they’ll begin to learn why portion control is so important. Keep things varied in the kitchen for best results, and you’ll find your children will love cooking with you at the weekends.
Teaching kids how to cook from an early age is something we recommend any parent does. Before you know it, your child will be heading off to college and will need to prepare meals every day for themselves. The sooner you can teach them to cook, the more likely they’ll be to enjoy healthy and balanced meals throughout their life. We encourage you to equip your kitchen with our child-friendly kitchen tools, which will help to make all of the tips we shared above much easier to follow. These tools are designed for smaller hands and make cooking safer and more enjoyable for everyone involved. You’ll find that when you have the right equipment for your child, they’ll be excited to help yo