Cooking with Kids-Start Young
Start simple, but start young! He cuts, she picks it up and places it in a bowl. It's more than just cooking skills. It's learning about teamwork, consciousness of eating habits, being proud of what you have made and learning a skill all at the same time.
What's that you say? No room in the kitchen? Set up a station on the dinning room table with a cutting board, knife and bowl. You just want to be alone? Yea I get that. It's tough now that kids hang around their parents all day and night instead of throwing rocks out back with all the other kids from the neighborhood. ...That one was a tough pill to swallow... You have no time...Dinner has to get on the table fast you say? Let it go! These skills are more important! The mess? Yea....that one you just have to learn to accept. It's going to happen no matter what. But I repeat, "These skills are more important!"
It took me a while to get on board with these arguments. Don't think I am preaching here. I fought against "fully" letting them in my kitchen for YEARS! I tried too hard to control how and what they made or got stressed out before they even began scooping the flour. It wasn't truly fun for either of us I think.
But, the first 6 months of our (first) Corona lockdown certainly helped teach me to let them in. I was tired of feeding 4 kids (ages 2-11) what felt like, 24-hours a day. Plus my steps daughters really helped me see that I needed to open up the "door" to my kitchen. Their love of food, cooking and eating outweighed the stress it gave me for sure! And, after another 3 months had passed, I had seen so many improvements in both the happiness of the 4 children and the confidence it had given them with food in general. So, that ladies and gentlemen, IS WORTH IT! Now I say yes to most questions asked in the kitchen knowing completely what kind of mess I will be getting into regarding cleaning up. But I also know just how much they learn each time they cook. Once I could let that other shit go, they shined and continue to shine regularly in "my" kitchen that I almost feel like I should be calling it our kitchen. Almost..........