Stay-at-home orders have been going strong for weeks now. Those of us with kids have had to get very creative to keep them entertained (and have weathered many a temper tantrum). If you’re running out of ideas, go back to the basics.
A great way to keep kids engaged is by having them help out with dinner. It teaches them responsibility, basic cooking skills, and how to follow instructions — not to mention it will take some work off your plate! (Plus, for all of us newly-designated homeschoolers, I’m pretty sure there are science, math, and home economics lessons to be learned with every meal!)
Here are 5 tips on how to get kids involved in the kitchen.
1) Planning the meals
Let your child pick one or two of the meals each week. Encourage something more complex than good old “mac n’ cheese” by having them pick a type of cuisine, or challenge them to try and mimic a recipe from your family’s favorite restaurant. If you’re a Gobble member, let them pick a dinner kit each week with the intention of preparing it for the household!
Have your children rinse and gently dry any produce to get it ready for cooking. If you have a salad spinner, now would be a great time to bring it out. Your kids will have fun spinning lettuce and herbs dry. Maybe too much fun?
Encourage your very own sous chef! They can measure spices (a great opportunity for a real-life math lesson) and, with a quick safety demonstration, older kids can help by peeling or chopping vegetables.
4)Cook it up!
Simple cooking tasks such as stirring a soup or flipping burger patties while you supervise are great opportunities for your littlest chefs to help out. It will build confidence in their cooking skills, plus they get to brag that they made dinner! This one is simple if you’re cooking with Gobble dinner kits! Since the hard work has been done, the kids will feel empowered by the easy preparation of fantastic meals.
5)Make it special
Let your child play the chef, and allow them to add a favorite ingredient or side dish to the meal. Or, have them create a real “menu” for the meal that they can present to the “guests.” (This also let’s us all at least pretend we’re at a restaurant.) These are ways to allow your child to be creative, while contributing to household.
We love bringing families together in the kitchen and hope this will help foster a love of cooking for your little chefs. It also gets them invested in the meal, and that makes it more likely that they will clean their plates.
Do your kids help out at dinnertime? We’d love to hear about it! Let us know what meals they love to help with and which tasks they enjoy most.