There’s no secret- I love to cook. But what about the kids? What on earth are they doing while I cook?
Well, I don’t like to leave them out of the equation…and there are so many ways to get them involved. You’ve all heard that a relationship with good food, healthy ingredients and getting involved makes your kids more interested in eating what is served up to them. But how do you do that while getting dinner or lunch ready?
Here’s some of my tips, from what we actually do!
Make something they can be involved in. My daughter loves using a rolling pin and cookie cutters with her playdough. So we transferred these skills to the rolling out of flatbreads and pizzas. She’s gotten quite proficient at it. She also likes to roll out paninis and cut them into shapes (with a blunt knife). There’s an awesome flatbread recipe on mamabake.com
Measuring. As long as you have measuring spoons and measuring cups, the kids can help out with filling them with the right amount of an ingredient. Older kids can help by reading the numbers on the scales for recipes that require certain weights.
Let them mix. Even if what you are doing needs to be mixed by a mixer…let them combine the ingredients first in the bowl, its really fun! If something involves kneading…let them have a go. As long as they have clean hands you really can’t go wrong.
Preparing fruit and vegetables. I don’t let them cut stuff yet, they are too small, but pulling grapes off the vine and rinsing them, rinsing blueberries, cherry tomatoes, lettuce leaves, washing potatoes etc are all open for fun! Its a great summer activity…because they might get a little wet!
Choosing toppings. I put out a selection of toppings I’m happy for them to choose from and let them put them on cupcakes with icing, or on top of pizzas. On a pizza I help out by drawing faint lines, then we try to make it as even as possible.
Spinning the salad. This is a favourite! It’s so much fun getting the spinner going and watching the leaves turning.
Dressing. No, not themselves! If you use a screwtop container and add the ingredients- let the kids shake it until the dressing is mixed. Then a quick pour over the salad and a stir…and you’re done.
Setting the table. Even the little ones can help with this! Getting the spoons, cups, forks and bowls and placemats out is part of our evening dinner ritual. I’ve got a trolley of all the stuff we need for dinner set up in the kitchen so it’s easy to get to and so that entire cupboards don’t get emptied in the process of looking for a certain cup, plate etc.