How to Cook With Kids: Top 5 Tips For Parents

by Samantha on August 31, 2013



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*In an effort to support greater nutritional choices and activities for families , Multiple Mayhem Mamma is partnering with The Registered Dieticians and The Dairy Farmers of Canada to offer easy-to-follow tips and advice to parents*

Parents are busy, that’s a well-known fact. Between shuttling kids to various lessons and managing a household, it’s no wonder that cooking for the family can often feel like a chore. Trying to juggle everybody’s busy schedules as well as spending quality time with their kids is an effort in and of itself; preparing quality home-cooked meals is just one more thing to add to the list.

Fortunately, the solution to this last challenge is simpler than you may think. The Registered Dieticians with Dairy Farmers of Canada recommend that families cook together. By doing so, parents will save time in the long run, get extra quality time with the kids and provide their children with an important set of life skills.

Check out this Fattoush Salad. Looks yummy, right? You can get the full recipe for it here:

fattoush-revisited

Following are 5 Simple Tips on How to Cook With Kids

1) Start Them Early - Cooking is a life skill, just like swimming or decision-making. Teach your kids how to cook early on and they’ll carry it through to adulthood. The sooner they get into the kitchen, the more likely they will be skilled at the basics of meal-making at an earlier age. The result? They’ll thrive when they’re older and out on their own. Instead of eating Ramen noodles in their university dorm, your kids will have the skills to make real meals when they’ve finally left the family nest.

2) Make it Easy - Using a measured approach based on age and skill level will go a long way in encouraging kids to cook with confidence. Give kids tasks that they can do so that they feel like they are helping and contributing. In doing so they will be more likely to become confident and inspired cooks as they get older. At www.FamilyKitchen.ca, there are a number of child-friendly recipes and videos of families cooking together that can be used as a starting point for parents and kids.

3) Make it Fun - Cooking doesn’t have to be boring. How about mixing it up a bit and making some meals special events? Parents can have “Dinner and a Movie” night, “Smorgasborg Night” or a special Weekend Brunch. Making a meal into an event every so often will compel children to participate and will make the whole process easier for both the parent and child.

4) Make it Interesting - Sick of boxed mac and cheese? Expose your kids to new recipes that they will like. There are a number of kid-friendly meals that families can cook that extend beyond the run-of-the-mill standards. Sure - grilled cheese sandwiches are great, but how about chicken pot pie? Don’t let the idea of pastry crust scare you ;) The recipe is family-friendly and kids love it. Find the old standards as well as some new ideas at www.FamilyKitchen.ca.

5) Make the Time - A 2012 study of Ontario parents showed that parents’ hesitance to cook with their kids was due to their thoughts that they wouldn’t have enough time to include their children in the process. Specifically, 77% of parents cited time as being the primary factor as to why they don’t cook with their kids. In actuality, families who cook together actually save time because kids are taking on part of the responsibility, e.g preparation, grating, organizing, etc. Who knew? Your child can be your own little Sous Chef :)

Do you cook with your kids? How do you get them engaged in the process? What are some of your favourite  family recipes? Leave me your comments below!

VIDEO: “The Talk”

VIDEO: Cooking With Kids



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