Start Early When it Comes to Cooking with Kids

11/04/2013 08:40

cooking with kidsOne of the most popular food-based reality programs in the United States is a show known as “Worst Cooks in America.” The series takes eight home cooks, if they can be called that, who manage to burn everything from instant rice to grilled cheese. The goal of the two celebrity chefs to coach them is to turn each “worst cook” into a respectable home chef. The series is competitive, largely because everyone is so bad at cooking. It’s really a spectacle.

How did the contestants get that way? Well, one theory goes that people who learn to cook earlier in life are actually better at it. This follows the same general rule that it’s easier to learn a language, or even mathematics, at an earlier age rather than at a younger one. Parents who have long believed that the kitchen is “for adults” should change gears. There are plenty of ways that kids can help:

1. Have them decorate cookies: Everyone loves putting sprinkles, sugar, and even icing onto fresh cookies.
2. Show them how things work: Kids need to know what a mixer is, what kind of knife is right for cutting which kind of food, and how to properly manage kitchen equipment. It’s good for safety and for quality.
3. Answer their questions during cooking: Kids are good observers, and they’re even better questioners. Don’t treat any question as too insignificant. Instead, answer each inquiry and create better future cooks!

With the right attitude toward the kitchen, the children, and the finished product, cooking can be a family activity that creates great meals, tasty desserts, and good cooks with a lifelong passion for homemade meals.