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.
Tagged: food, life skills
Those tear and share pizza rolls look delicious! And that’s a great idea to be in the kitchen with your child, helping to clean up. My husband and I do that when we cook together.
I read this a few days ago on my phone but typing comments on my phone is not my style–LOL! So I came back and wanted to say that I totally agree with you! My children love to be in the kitchen with me, they see me cook all the time and they want to help or create something themselves. At first, it can be hard to give up that control, not to mention when you see the flour all over the floor but in the end, the memories and confidence they get are so worth it!! A couple of months back I was getting a salad ready then my son needed me so I had to stop, I came back into the kitchen to see Anna cutting up the vegetables—this, of course, made my husband nervous but I had already worked with her on this so I was not nervous but very proud of her.
What a happy thing to find – help without the request. And in the kitchen! Yay!
Kids love to cook and if we will try to accommodate that when they are interested, I believe it will carry forward in life.
I like the idea of acting as a sous chef. I don’t see anything wrong with teaching teamwork – especially in the kitchen. I know I want my kids to feel confident in the kitchen (I wish that I was taught how to make more items).
Teaching how to read a recipe opens up that avenue of creating more wonderful things to eat. Then, you don’t have to know how to make it. You can read and follow and create.
I’ve never minded a mess in the kitchen. ( I know how I cook!). so letting my lad make a mess when he was younger was a no-brainer. as he’s gotten older he’s naturally become much neater as a cook. I love that he can follow a recipe and food turns out well. I”m always within earshot! good post.
Thanks. Some people don’t mind the mess but I know many others who really do and I would prefer to not have to do a deep cleaning after every time cupcakes get made. 🙂