If you’re going to cook with your children, think about the kinds of foods that they might like to make, and then plan ahead with plenty of time to spare. Lots of kids like to bake, which is a chance to dazzle them with the bread maker. But remember, showing them what to do can take longer, so you may even have to hold off preheating the oven. And here’s how you involve the kids in those activities:
There are two things to take care of before you start cooking. One is to make sure that you have all the necessary ingredients — so make a list. The second is to ensure that you get the best deals possible, so look online for any special ingredients that you need. Use coupons and check for local deals and discount vouchers before you head to the store.
Choose the recipes carefully so that you can fully encourage the kids to get involved. Also, check that these recipes are ones that the family will enjoy eating, such as bread and cakes.
Make bread to encourage your child to savor food
Take your child throw your child how to make bread using bread makers. It’s a basic food and helps to teach a child the fundamentals of savoring food. Buy a loaf from the store and it means nothing, but if the child can see how the dough becomes bread they become invested in the results. Bread makers are fairly cheap these days, and it’s rather special having fresh baked bread every day, rather than a load that’s been in the store or supermarket for two days.
Bake amusingly shaped cakes
You can liven up baking even more fun by allowing the kids to follow a pattern or create shapes with the things being cooked. Start with cookies and funny cookie cutter shapes. The kids can then have the time of their lives decorating them with jelly beans and icing sugar. A slightly older child may appreciate being able to design cakes with different shapes, and you can make far more for far less money than if you were to buy the cakes from a store.
What can you show your child how to do?
There are lots of things kids can do in baking such as cracking eggs, kneading dough, placing things in bread makers and watching the results. Sprinkles and toppings are easy enough, as is sieving and grating cheese with a rotary grater. Teach your child how to remove skins from potatoes or fruit with a peeler and how to mash potatoes with a masher. There are plenty of safe cooking activities children can participate in.
Take a photo of the mess before you start
When it’s time to clean your child may start to “um” and “aww,” so have your child take a few photos of all the mess before you start, then both of you clean up and then ask them to snap the area again once it’s been cleaned. Comparing the photos is fun and will illustrate to them that something has been achieved (they’ll want to take the credit, of course!). Children have a very short memory regarding things like this. A few before- and after-pictures will remind them what they’ve accomplished and also of the fun that you’ve had together. After all, it’s not just about making bread, it’s about making memories, and that’s one of the (many).