The holidays are a great time to slow down and spend time with your family. A great way to spend quality time with kids is in the kitchen. Many people cook more this time of year as they enjoy foods of the season. Pull the kids into the food prep, and teach them cooking skills while you’re at it! Here are a few tips to set a joyful mood when cooking with kids:
Be Safe – Kids can become overly excited in the kitchen. It is important they understand that they will need help with certain tasks. Explain to them that knives can be sharp and shouldn’t be used without help. Teach them how an oven works and to ask for help when the stovetop is hot.
Be Clean – A refresher course in proper hand washing techniques is always a good idea. Visit fightbac.org and review the steps with your kids. While you’re there, review the four core practices for reducing foodborne illness: clean, separate, cook, and chill.
Start With the Basics – Kids will one day grow up and will eventually need to start cooking on their own. It is important that they know cooking basics. Teach them how to crack an egg, how to use measuring cups and spoons, and other basic kitchen tasks. The tasks they can complete depends largely on their age and abilities. Eatright.org gives the following suggestions by age:
- Three to five year olds: mix together simple ingredients, snap green beans, tear lettuce for a salad, press cookie cutters
- Six to seven year olds: shuck corn, use a vegetable peeler, crack eggs, measure ingredients
- Eight to nine year olds: use a can opener, juice citrus fruits, check the temperature of foods with a thermometer, pound chicken on a cutting board
- Children age ten and older: slice or chop vegetables, boil potatoes, microwave foods, bake foods in the oven, simmer ingredients on the stove.
Be Patient – Things can get a little hectic with kids in the kitchen. Remember to be patient. Expect a mess as you go and ask for their help cleaning up. Embrace the moment and make it a fun activity for yourself and your kids. Create fun and joyful holiday memories!
Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles is a great recipe to make with your kids.
The kids will love measuring the ingredients and mixing the dough. They’ll especially love rolling the cookie dough balls in the sugar and pumpkin spice. Another recipe they might like is our Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies or our Apple Cranberry Crisp.
Get your cooking supplies ready, turn on some holiday music, and create some joy in the kitchen!