Involving kids in the kitchen without losing your mind

One thing I see more and more with clients is less quality time spent with children. Don’t get me wrong, I am not being judgmental here, just making a point that parents today have less time to spend with their children, which is unfortunate. 

Parents are busy with work, their personal lives, carpooling, making dinner, shopping, etc. Kids are occupied with school, daycare, extra curricular activities, play dates and so on. I don’t think it is wise to blame parents or society in general, instead I think we should think of creative ways of making an effort to spend time with our children because it matters. One great way of creating quality time with kids is to involving them in the kitchen. Invite them to join you in the kitchen, help with meal preparation and focus on making this experience fun and positive for them. Which is easier said than done, I know … 

Involving kids in the kitchen means mess. Lots of it. 

Best advice ever – make peace with the fact that It will get messy, that’s just the way it is. Concentrate on the fact that you are spending quality time with your child, such a rare occurrence these days. You don’t have to do it every day. This can be a fun Sunday activity or mid week activity. Just make sure you prep ahead of time in terms of what you are going to cook and that you have all the ingredients needed for your recipe. 

involving kids in the kitchen

Tips on Involving Kids In The Kitchen

  • Go through recipe books together and choose a recipe to cook together. Often times when kids see pictures of foods they like it sparks an interest in them, and children who are “picky” are much more likely to eat the food they helped to prepare. 
  • Allow the child to choose their own favourite dish and cook it with him/her. Even if this means cooking mac and cheese together, or even a dessert. The main thing is spending time together and bonding with each other. If you are concerned about the quality of the ingredients, you can always stock up on the good quality ones. 
  • A great idea for spending quality time with each child is allocating a day for each family member and allowing that person to choose what will the family eat on that day, and also create that meal with them. Use this time to ask them meaningful questions.  
  • If you have young children delegate the easy tasks to them, things like: washing the vegetables, shredding the lettuce with hands, assembling food, stirring dry ingredients, etc.
  • Don’t forget to kiss, hug and say positive and encouraging words throughout the entire time

how to involve kids in the kitchen

Important life skills that kids pick up while helping you out in the kitchen

  • They learn to cook their favourite food themselves, without relying on restaurants or other people
  • They learn that healthy food choices affect not only how they feel physically but emotionally as well
  • By being familiar with a wide variety of vegetables and other cooking ingredients they learn about nutrition and how delicious dishes are created
  • Kids who learn to cook at a young age tend to have a more open mind towards trying new foods
  • Quality time with family members, which they will cherish for the rest of their lives
  • The importance of making a meal together as a family
  • Stronger self esteem and confidence
  • And most important of all, their resistance towards trying new foods will diminish eventually

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