On average, American households spend over $3,000 a year on eating out. Not only is this a lot of money, but it also means that parents are missing out on important opportunities to introduce children to cooking. Encouraging children to help out at mealtimes cannot only show kids that cooking can be fun, but it can also help them understand more about being safe at home. There are plenty of safe ways for children to have fun in the kitchen, giving parents and children some invaluable bonding time together. Here are some fun activities for the kids to try.
Have fun with vegetables
Only one in ten children eat enough vegetables. One way of encouraging them to consume more vegetables is to get them having fun with them. This can include washing them and slicing them up into their favorite shapes (with rubber, child-friendly knives). This type of activity is suitable for young children of all ages (under your watchful eye). Under your supervision if necessary, they can then add the vegetables to an appropriate serving bowl or cooking appliance and will be thrilled to see the result of their culinary efforts.
Make and shape dough
Making dough is a surefire way of having fun in the kitchen. Making pizza dough is a more savory option, while making the dough for cookies and gingerbread men will literally go down a treat. Whatever type of dough you opt for, it is easy to make and is extremely child-friendly, with no boiling water or electrical appliances involved. Once they’ve measured out and mixed the ingredients, kids can pound the dough to their heart’s content and then have fun rolling it out and shaping it. For cookies and biscuits, kids can use cookie cutters to create a particular character or shape, before salivating over the smell of their baked delights as they bake in the oven.
Decorate cookies and gingerbread biscuits
Another activity that is fun and, ultimately, tasty, is decorating your home-made bakes (or bought-shop ones if time is limited). This might involve icing biscuits with fun swirls or stars, or adding sprinkles and dusting of icing sugar. See where the kids’ artistic preferences (and tastebuds!) take them!
Kids have a natural curiosity and many are chomping at the bit to get involved in the kitchen. Learning to cook can help develop qualities outside the kitchen, so the benefits are far-reaching. These sorts of activities can help kids learn more about cooking and have fun, while also enabling them to grow in confidence.