The preparation of food. The process or activity of preparing food for eating.*"
That’s a pretty simple definition, right? There’s nothing in there about complicated techniques or exotic ingredients. Just plain and simple, ‘preparation of food.’ That means, cooking can be as basic as washing and drying vegetables, or arranging pre-cut cheeses and meats on a platter, or sprinkling seasoning over chicken. All these things are cooking; And, kids could do any of them…even kids as young as 3.
Getting kids in the kitchen doing easy tasks starts them on an interactive journey with the food they eat. It provides them knowledge and some control over an essential part of their lives. Plus, when you focus on simple recipes that you can make together as a family, cooking can be lots of fun.
Cooking in general, doesn’t have to be super fancy and complicated. Although there are times when it is, when you bring the kids into the kitchen, the most basic recipes are fine–and they still count as cooking!
There are three tips that can help un-complicate the cooking process when working with kids:
– Use simple recipes or break more complex recipes into basic steps
– Assign or encourage age appropriate tasks for each child
– Review the process with all participants to make sure everyone knows the plan
Cooking is about getting food ready to eat–that’s it. It’s an activity that can easily be done as a family. And, with a little planning, delicious ingredients and a simple recipe, time spent with the kids in ‘the process or activity of preparing food for eating,’ will not only be easy, it will also always be remembered with fondness. 😀
Now go, pick out a recipe, grab the kids, and cook something!
Alex, Soph and Mom
P.S. For even more tips on cooking with kids, sign-up for our mailing list (to the right)…you’ll get our free report, "Secrets to Making Cooking with Kids Stress-Free."
*According to Encarta® World English Dictionary[North American Edition].