Kids in the Kitchen.
Is this your nightmare? They’re in the way, they could burn themselves, they leave the fridge open, spill things, sneak into the cupboards and eat when they’re not supposed to, make a mess…
It’s true. That could happen. It has happened.
But having your kids in the kitchen is such a positive experience for them (AND YOU!). Here are my top five reasons for getting your kids in the kitchen…hopefully I can change your mind.
When your kids are young, having them in the kitchen will make them more adventurous eaters. I say “adventurous” because I want the word “picky” to be abolished from parents’ mouths. Labelling your child as a picky eater (especially in front of them) will guarantee that they are, indeed, “picky”. Naming your child ADVENTUROUS will ensure they live up to the name. Maybe not right away, but eventually, they will start to try new foods. If they are in the kitchen while you make dinner, exposed to new and different foods, over and over and over, one day they will try it. And they might even end up liking it.
2. Nutrition Education
There is no better opportunity to educate your children about proper nutrition and healthy foods than while they are in the kitchen with you. And maybe this is a good chance for you to learn about new foods as well. It could start in the grocery store, picking up something you’ve never tried and looking up the name, background, history and different ways to cook/eat a new food. Or just chopping up vegetables to eat or for dinner. A simple discussion about what is healthy and what is not can make a huge difference in a chld’s life. Don’t assume they have the knowledge…teach them-they want to learn from you. I recently let my kids choose anything they wanted to try from the produce department. They picked up a whole coconut and we brought it home. We smashed it open, only to find it slimy and rotten. Such a shame! But then we had some dried coconut flakes and were able to try those and talk about how they came from the same place. We discovered my kids really like coconut! Whatever works!
Do your kids think food just appears out of a package and onto their dinner plates? Do they know how much time it takes to plan a meal or the effort you took to make sure they were getting food they enjoy for dinner? Bring your kids into the kitchen and show them what making dinner really entails. Children should know and appreciate the efforts you make in bringing food to the table. Sometimes all a child needs is to know the love that went into a meal in order to clean their plate. They’ll be less likely to turn up their nose at something if they know how much time it took to prepare.
4. Family Time
Believe it or not, being in the kitchen together can be fun! Yes, it can also be messy and time consuming, but if you’re in the right frame of mind, sitting around a counter making cookies or scrambling eggs can be a great time to reconnect with your kids. You’re working all day, they’re at school all day-the 30 minutes together in the kitchen can be the perfect time to bond and hear about everything that’s happened in the last eight hours of their life. Some kids will even open up a bit more if they’re focused on a task instead of asked questions directly. Just remember to be patient, let them help, and listen.
You do not want to send your child off to University (Or college, or Australia, or wherever) without them knowing how to cook-at least a few simple items. They should leave your home feeling confident enough to make themselves a healthy breakfast, lunch, and an impressive enough dinner that if they made it for someone they might fall in love with, they won’t want to spit it out. They should be able to feed themselves. Don’t let your kids live on packaged foods. It’s a life skill. And if you don’t have that life skill, then points 2, 3, 4, and 5 are for you too.
My mission is to get you and your kids in the kitchen this year. Bookmark my site because I’ve got some exciting stuff happening! Great recipes, videos, guides, tutorials-all coming soon! And it’s all for you!