3 Ways to Make Cooking Family-Friendly Fun for Your Children

How can you help your children learn to love cooking? Cooking is an essential skill for anyone to learn. The act of preparing a meal can help reduce stress, but cooking can keep your family healthy as well. So, how can you keep your kids safe while having some family fun in the kitchen? You can start by following a few family-friendly kitchen tips.

Create a Safe Space for Cooking

The kitchen is the heart of any home, but kitchens can also be filled with hazards for your aspiring little chefs. Before you start cooking as a family, make sure your kitchen is set up to be kid-friendly and safe for everyone. Your children should be clear on safety rules when preparing foods and cooking in the kitchen. An adult should always be present to supervise, and risks should be minimized. Look out for common hazards that can lead to major accidents, such as slippery floors, sharp objects, and kitchen appliances. In addition to providing adult supervision, you can also shop around for kid-friendly tools that can make prep work a bit safer for your children.

Older children can use a plastic, serrated knife to help chop ingredients and slip-resistant prep bowls to minimize messes. As your kids get older and more mature, they can graduate to using more grown-up tools to help make meals, but having some safer options can help keep you stress-free when your kids are with you in the kitchen.

Go Over Kitchen Rules and Safety

Even with the latest and greatest tools, there’s no way to completely take risks out of your kitchen. This is why it is imperative to review some important safety rules with your children. Kitchen fires and burns can result in serious injuries, so make sure your family knows to always use potholders, keep flammable items away from the stovetop, and extinguish fires the correct way. Every kitchen should have a small fire extinguisher in an accessible location to minimize damages if a fire does start, as well as a fully stocked first aid kit for cuts and minor burns.

Food safety is important for your family to know and practice as well. It’s a good idea to designate cutting boards to use for various ingredients, to avoid cross-contamination. So ideally, you should have one for raw meats, one for veggies, etc. Also help your kids with proper handwashing, so that they are not exposed to harmful bacteria, such as salmonella or E. coli. Finally, instill the importance of cleaning up after you're done preparing and eating your meal. It may be helpful to get in the habit of cleaning up as you go to prevent a big mess from piling up and interfering with your stress-reducing kitchen session.

Find Some Simple Recipes to Make Together

Getting your family into the kitchen to cook together has several benefits. For one, cooking at home is the easiest way to keep your diet healthy, and your children are bound to pick up on this positive habit. To help them develop a love for clean cooking, look online for some basic recipes that are good for your family and will also taste good to picky eaters. You can find kid-friendly recipes to fit any taste, and many are so easy that your kids can do most of the prep work on their own (with your supervision, of course). Children will love making and eating handheld pizza pockets so much that they may not even notice the whole-wheat crusts. Once your kids have gained more experience, you can try your hand at more complex dishes. Chicken coated in quinoa is a delicious dinner option that your whole family can help with, but there are so many other recipes online that you should have no problem mixing it up.

Spending time in the kitchen with your children can go a long way in boosting their confidence, but it can be a major stress reliever for your family as well. Just be sure to follow some essential safety rules, use age-appropriate tools and recipes, and above all, remember to have fun making all those delicious meals and precious memories with your children.

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