Does the thought of allowing your child to take over the kitchen scare you? It does me! At least in some ways. I KNOW I will have more clean up. I KNOW I will have a ton of questions. I KNOW I will be exhausted by the end of it. But, I also know that it will be good for her.
Miss J absolutely loves cooking. I mean it is one of her favorite things and she gets super excited to get a cookbook as a gift. She has been gifted a number of cookbooks over the past couple of years and she reads through them, dreaming of making the lovely food found inside.
For Christmas a few weeks ago, she received The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs. She has gone through it over and over, marking recipes she wants to try. Tonight, she dove in. She made dinner and dessert for me. She made the tear-and-share pizza rolls for dinner and she made cakepops for after. She did a fabulous job.
One idea I want to share about helping youngsters learn to cook well – I acted as sous chef. By getting out and putting away ingredients, cleaning up small messes as they occur, helping prep and guide, the recipe ran smoother and I was able to guide before an issue happened. I was able to do the clean up for her and she felt very confident in her ability. She made a beautiful dinner and we had a great time cooking together. But she was in charge.
** I know someone out there is thinking “But she needs to learn to clean up after herself in the kitchen!” True. I agree. She does. And we talk about that. But we enjoy cooking together and, as I said before, this is a great way to guide the process without the child feeling like mom is watching over her shoulder and not trusting.
Learning confidence in the kitchen is a huge life skill. It is one that can save literally thousands of dollars. I know people who claim they have to eat out a lot because all they know how to make is frozen pizza and cereal. That is not a good claim to fame. So, let’s teach our children better, healthier, cheaper ways. And they will love it. The more they cook, the more they will enjoy it.
Yes, it will be challenging sometimes. Yes, it will be rough. Yes, it will be messy. Yes, it will require lots and lots and lots of clean up. (Did I mention I still have a floor to sweep and mop?) But it will be worth it all in the long run.
So, what is your family going to cook tonight?
Lori, At Home.