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From the time my children were little, they have been with me in the kitchen cooking, baking, and preparing meals. I have many friends who can not cook and rely heavily on their spouse to prepare all meals or else its all about convenience foods. While one member of the family may take on the primary cooking responsibilities, it’s important to have these basic skills so that you can take care of your own needs when the time arises.
Growing up, we had home ec. My middle school cooking teacher, Mrs. Dunn, taught us the basics of how to prepare a simple meal. She noticed quickly who had experience in the kitchen and who was absolutely clueless and would assign our daily responsibilities accordingly so that those who knew what to do wouldn’t take over the meal preparation. As a result, students who were not encouraged to cook at home gained a valuable skill that would carry them through the rest of their lives.
Home Ec is no longer taught in a lot of schools, so its even more important than ever to go back to how things were in past generations, with children alongside their grandparents or parents preparing and ultimately enjoying meals.
If you are an adult who doesn’t cook, learn along with your children! It is never too late to gain a new skill. If you are a confident home cook, take the extra time to teach your children how to prepare their favorites, and ultimately cook for the family. Even a toddler can mix cake or brownie batter, or sprinkle cheese, or even be the official taste-tester. As the child’s skills improve, so does the repertoire of recipes that they have helped prepare.
I have decided to incorporate a more formal cooking lesson into our homeschooling curriculum on a weekly basis. We will tie in our weekly food lessons with what were are learning in Social Studies, Science, or Reading and of course we will be using Math as well. In addition, cooking and meal planning/prep can be tied into various Cub Scout advancements and Girl Scout badges, so you know that will be on the horizon for us as well.
Tools for Kids in the Kitchen
We want kids safe while they are in the kitchen, that’s why many of these resources are smaller sized versions of the kitchen tools you may already have.
Kitchen Step Stool with Adjustable Safety Rail
Kai Little Chef Club Children’s Knife
Curious Chef 30-Piece Chef Caddy Collection
Cuisinart Stainless Steel Food Chopper
Curious Chef Child Chef Mitt Set
MasterChef Junior Cooking Essentials Set
Joie Fruit And Vegetable Wavy Chopper
Cookbooks For Kids & Families
These cookbooks are written with children as their target audience. The pictures and food selections often appeal more to kids. Preview the books online to see if the recipes would match your child’s food preferences.
American Girl Cooking: Recipes for Delicious Snacks, Meals & More
Better Homes & Gardens New Junior Cookbook
Cooking Class: 57 Fun Recipes Kids Will Love to Make (and Eat!)
Baking Class: 50 Fun Recipes Kids Will Love to Bake!
Cookbook for Teens: The Easy Teen Cookbook with 74 Fun & Delicious Recipes to Try
I absolutely love this! We couldn’t agree more about teaching children to cook and bake. My oldest is now 32, and has all the skills for cooking and baking, plus canning , dehydrating, and fermenting. All my boys learn to follow recipes as well as the girls. Around the age of five, we would start with a gift box or basket with tools and baking mixes. How important this is for little ones. Every time we have gifted kitchen tools and supplies, they were amongst the kids favorite gifts. Who can beat time with mom in the kitchen?
Exactly! Now if only we could convince dad to clean up the messes!
I simultaneously love and hate cooking with my kids. On one hand is the fact that they absolutely destroy my kitchen. But, their joy is absolutely electrifying when I include them. They truly feel capable and important, and I’ll clean my kitchen to see that any day.