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Guidelines and Reasons to cook with Children

Holistic Learning and Development

Guidelines and Reasons to cook with Children

Sensory experiences are wonderful for brain development and cooking with your child engages all of their senses seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and (most fabulously) tasting!

By Admin 29th Oct, 2012 12:42 pm

Reasons to Cook with Children?

1. Brain development
Sensory experiences are wonderful for brain development and cooking with your child engages all of their senses – seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and (most fabulously) tasting!

2. Motor skills
Stirring, whisking, chopping, peeling, beating, kneading, tenderising – all of these cooking processes provide the opportunity to develop physical skills – both fine (fingers, hands and co-ordination) and gross (arm and body) motor skills.

3.  Mathematical concepts
Your child can count and help measure to build math skills. When cooking with more than one kid, ask each child to count “stirs” as he or she whips the batter.

4. Keeping communication open
Making a regular date to work side by side in the kitchen with your child is one way of maintaining regular time to talk together. This time has the potential to become more and more important as they grow and develop, and as the pressures and influences of schooling, peers and life in general become more prominent in their lives.

5. Self esteem
Children feel a real sense of achievement when they have the opportunity to serve food they have helped to prepare to family and friends.

6. Developing life skills
Cooking is such a useful life skill and involving them in the kitchen regularly from a young age is a big step towards developing future independence. Having a good home cooked for themselves by themselves when they grow up, they will thank you for this and they will thank you more for making the cooking skill as fun and not tiresome.

7. Family history is alive!
Is there a recipe you got from grandma? What about that special way you cook Parathas or Mashed potatoes or Some spicy curry recipe? Teach your children to cook these recipes that are handed down from generation to generation. Make your own and have your kids write them down or type out on a computer. You and your kids can be the start of a new tradition.

Guidelines to cook with Children

1. Planning is part of the fun!
Invite your child to help to plan a meal or pick a recipe, make a list of ingredients, find them in your kitchen, and/or shop for them. This way, children can learn how to organize and follow through, as well as think ahead. Give your kids a sense of control and accomplishment by letting them make choices whenever possible.

2. Wash hands before you start cooking.
This goes for grown-ups too!

3. Create a safe place where kids can cook.
Set up a work area at a lower height to make easier for preschoolers to reach things. Offer children a stool only if you know they can balance on it. Remove any sharp objects from their reach.

4. No matter where kids work, always supervise them closely.
Stay in the kitchen until the cooking is finished – or take the kids with you to another room.

5. Set up clear rules about the stove.
Explain to them about the stove in age-appropriate, simple terms; for example, “The stove is hot! It’s not OK to touch it. Mommy or Daddy will put the pan in the oven. You can watch.” Always keep pan and utensil handles turned towards the back of the stove.

6. Give preschoolers their own safe utensils.
Offer them wooden or plastic ones. If older children are able to use grown-up equipment, monitor them carefully. Avoid giving children graters, as fingers can easily get scraped.

7. Reading and following directions are in the mix!
Ask your child to read each instruction aloud as you prepare the food. Kids will get a sense of turn-taking and sequencing from following directions in order.

8. Siblings or groups of kids can take turns doing the same step – in their own unique way.
You may want to let each child participate in each step of the recipe. This may take longer, but cooking with kids is as much about “process” as it is about product.

9.    It’s easier to enjoy cooking together if you’re not “starving.”
Either pick a quick recipe that makes a healthy snack, or have veggies, fruit, and dip to snack on before you start.

10.    Be spontaneous!
To avoid a trip to the store, make simple substitutions. Cornmeal can sometimes replace flour, use vegetable oil instead of melted butter, etc.

11.    Introduce new foods.
Kids often will try unfamiliar foods, including vegetables and fruits, when they transform them into personal “creations” like a funny face pizza or a fruit kabob.

12.    Turn a sandwich into a special snack!
Cutting sandwiches with cookie cutters makes them special. Decorating with vegetables and fruits will transform a simple sandwich into a sandwich face.

Click link below for some delicious recipes which can be made at home :

Happy Cooking!!


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