How to get your kids into the kitchen!
Today I got a chance to take my little one on Global TV Winnipeg to discuss the importance of teaching kids how to cook!
Learning how to cook is a very important skill that is being lost because we lead such busy lives these days, and we don’t spend enough time in the kitchen cooking home cooked meals, never mind spending time in the kitchen cooking with our kids.
Do you shoo your kids out of the kitchen when under foot, or do you give them a task to do? I know, it’s hard, I’ve been there, but if they are showing interest in helping you, I encourage you to give them a task.
We’ve seen many clients come through the doors at A Little Nutrition telling us that they don’t know how to cook and that they’re seeking help on how to cook healthy nutritious meals because they never learn how to do this when they were growing up. Now as adults they are challenged to learn how to cook healthy meals.
People are not learning how to cook for many reasons. One coulee be that they were kicked out of the kitchen as a child. Or simply just the fact that we lead such busy lives that families are starting to rely on eating out, as well as convenience foods more often than actual cooking.
Kids are growing up thinking that cooking is more along the lines of open a box and heated up the contents in the microwave, which we all know isn’t actual cooking. When they venture out into the real world on their own their skills are very limited.
We need to teach our kids how to cook for a variety of reasons.
- Firstly, teaching our kids how to cook encourages them to try new healthy foods. If they’re in the kitchen with you and your cutting up and preparing new foods and they are watching you, they’re more likely to try these new foods.
- Another great reason teaching our kids to cook is that they’re more likely to sit down at the table and eat foods that they helped prepare. If you have a picky eater this is a very important step to help overcome picky eating … get them more involved in the preparation of foods. If they take a little bit of ownership in the food they prepared they will be more willing to eat it.
- Cooking is also a skill that your kids will need and use their entire life and will likely help them be a healthier person in the future
- My favourite benefit for teaching your kids how to cook said they also will build some self-confidence, as well as confidence in the kitchen, they’re going to know how to use different appliances and different tools in the kitchen and feel confident on how to use them to prepare healthy meals for themselves.
Mostly they’re going to realize the food doesn’t come from a box, can or package. They’re going to know that food comes from real food ingredients and how to prepare them.
So how do we get kids in the kitchen and interested in cooking?
You can start at any age, however most children seem to express an interest around age 2 or three years old.
- Start with breakfast, here are some meal ideas to get your kids excited about food.
Try this peanut butter banana wrap you can teach quite a few different skills to your little ones like spreading peanut butter and cutting with a knife.
Another thing you can do is teach your little ones to start with cutting up fruit I started my three-year-old on cutting up soft watermelon and she will graduate to your fruits as she learns how to cut properly.
French toast fingers is a great activity that you can do with your kids when you have a little bit more time like on the weekends this will teach your kids how to cut bread you can get them to learn how to crack an egg and you can also get them to do some stirring. The older kids can learn more advanced skills on the stove, like working with a frying pan and flipping the toast.
Dinner offers more opportunity to get your kids involved in the kitchen. My kids actually get an entire extra serving of vegetables in at supper just by helping cut them up. They like to sneak in a few when I’m not looking, ha ha. But they can do things like grating cheese or measuring and pouring in gradients.
You can start off with finding kid friendly recipes by getting a kid friendly cookbook or you can check out our website for kid friendly recipes.
What’s importantly if your having a hard time engaging your children in the kitchen, remember it’s never too late to start and that seeking support of a registered dietitian is always an option, if you have medical insurance to see a registered dietician or services would be mostly covered and we could help you put together a plan to get your kids in the kitchen cooking, and interested in preparing healthy foods.
If you need help getting your children to eat healthier food, let us know and book and appointment!