It’s hard to balance everything going on daily. Oftentimes I wake up and think, “how will I get everything done today and make all the meals and keep everyone alive and happy?” But lately I have upped the amount of responsibilities given to my 5 and 7 year old. My 7 year old take charge of cooking his own breakfast and lunch most of the time now. By doing this, I have noticed that he is much more keen to eat and less worried about the food that I make for him. Of course, he still eats most of what I cook for him. But it’s extremely helpful to have another hand in the kitchen.
Trust Your Kids
Trust your kids, regardless of how old they may be. Don’t think that your kid will reject a food just because it is the norm for kids to do that. Ask for their opinion as much as possible and ask them about any recipes that they may want to try. If you can do this, then you will soon find that it is easier than ever for you to engage your kids with their imagination and that you can also trust them much more too. Educating your kids in the kitchen is one of the best things that you can do. They will be more aware of nutritious food vs junk food. It’s important to share viable information to your children that they can gain from and use later on. Don’t shy away because it seems inconvenient or silly. Kids pick up on more than we even realize.
Appeal to their Senses
Cooking food is all about taste, right? This may be true, but it’s about so much more as well. If you can, you need to try and ask your kids to see if they can describe a food by simply looking at it. Touch the food, smell it, and even hear what kinds of sounds it can make. The great thing about this is that it helps them with their sensory-based exploration, and it also gives them the chance to grow their imagination too. A picky child can often lead into a picky teenager. It’s helpful for both you and the child to discover all sorts of food early on and explore those taste buds.
Use your Kid’s Obsessions
If you know that your child is obsessed with sweet potatoes right now, then why not think about all the ways that you can use it? You can slice it and then roast it in discs, or you can do it as a baked option with lots of other ingredients. Sweet potato fries are another option you can use, so don’t be afraid to explore options such as this. You will soon find that your child is much more open to trying new things week after week. If you now they like a certain food and it’s healthy, ride with it and see how many different variations you can both come up with!
Getting your kids hyped about making a pizza may not be hard at all, but how do you get them enthusiastic about cooking broccoli? At the end of the day, the best way for you to get your children excited would be for you to mix whatever it is they are eating with something tasty. If you mix it with eggs, cheese or even dough then this will add a lot of yum factor and it will also help them to understand that vegetables aren’t boring. It might take a bit more effort on your end initially to make food “fun” but it will be worth it in the end. My kids love a variety of food. I often use a muffin tin and will fill each slot with something different (veggies, protein, fruit etc).
If your kids love cheese, then why not invest in a “make your own cheese kit”?
When it comes to cooking with your kids, you have to try and throw perfection out of the window. Never expect to make the best meal in the world. Seasonings will spill out but if you want your kids to enjoy food without pressure or worry, then you need to let them explore it at their own pace. If you can do this, then you will soon find that they are much more open and that you can relax more. It’s very important to teach your kids hands on in the kitchen. It’s a skill they can take with them for the rest of their lives.
This may sound a little strange, but you have to make sure that you do not play it safe. Bland food is nothing short of boring, and spices are great for getting your kids excited about food. Appeal to their adventurous side and also make sure that you do what you can to allow them to choose the spices. Allow them to smell the spices first and then use them. It is a very good way for you to educate them and their senses, and if they don’t like them, it’s ok. If you can adopt this approach, you’ll find it easier than ever to get the best result out of your cooking routine.
The most important rule is to have fun. Introducing cooking to your children will be beneficial to both of you. Sure, it can be messy and it will take longer, but raising children is all about teaching and learning together through experiences.