Kids Cooking: Three Ways to Get Kids in the Kitchen

Posted by the Mom (aka Kelly Biedny)

Photo: William Dickey; Styling: Rose Nguyen

Sometimes family schedules can make family cooking challenging. After school-practices, appointments, games…it can be difficult to prepare and eat a family meal together.  This doesn’t mean, however, that we can’t squeeze in some time in the kitchen having fun. With a little planning, the week can present itself an hour or two. We have three ideas for you and your kids spend that free time and they all involve fun together in the kitchen.

Idea 1:
Baking – When most people think about cooking with their kids, they think of baking, at least that’s my perception. The reason is because making cookies from scratch or mixing up or decorating cupcakes is a simple way to get the kids in the kitchen with you.

Here are some baking together tips:

  • Take some time with the kiddies to pick out a specific recipe that you want to bake together
  • Prepare the shopping list together as well, first checking the cupboards for what you already have, and then going to purchase the rest
  • Plan the date and time you’re going to have your baking adventure and make sure there are no other distractions.
  • Enjoy your baked creation together and share with others in the family that didn’t help!

Idea 2:
Food Related Experiments – If you have kids that are interested in science, or even just doing experiments with food, you can probably get them in the kitchen cooking and learning with a Science Experiment You Can Eat. We’ve made up our own experiments, some of them not so edible, but with this book by Vicki Cobb, you can investigate things from Suspensions, Colloids and Emulsions to Microbes and Enzymes. Each experiment has an edible component and an observation section to help summarize what you learned.

Idea 3:
Preparing Special Meals – By special meals, I mean things like Mom, Dad, Brother or Sister’s birthday, or maybe just because it’s Friday.  Any day can be a special day if everyone involved decides it is. By planning a special meal day and building up anticipation, everyone will be excited when the day actually arrives. Alex, Soph and I like to do party nights when we make snacky super items together, then spread out a blanket in the living room and eat picnic style while we watch a movie, or something on Netflix.

Here are some tips for planning your ‘special meal’ night:

  • Pick the special day or event together. If it’s for a family member’s birthday, you can surprise them or include them. If you do include them, you can always plan a surprise part of the meal (like cake) that you make separately.
  • Have everyone decide  ahead of time what they will be working on…who’s cutting veggies, who’s preparing marinades, who’s stirring and who’s pouring. It may seem like a lot of upfront work, but it will pay off with a smooth running kitchen.
  • Don’t stop at the food, why not decorate up the table to match a theme?  Placemats and name cards can be made in advance, or you can just break out the picnic blanket and eat off of paper plates–whatever you decide.

We hope one of these ideas inspires you to set aside a few hours in the coming weeks to have some fun as a family, cooking up some tasty treats.

Happy Family Cooking Everyone,

Kelly, Alex and Sophia

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