I am delighted to welcome Natasha Ramsay in this guest post.
Dinner has to be served but you have kids and making it on time seems like an impossible task? Here is an idea – involve your children into the cooking process. Cooking is always fun for children if you give them the right tasks to do. Depending on their age, they can do different things. When it comes to cooking with children, most of the times it is quite messy. But if you have a few tricks up your sleeve, the mess might be reduced to a minimum.
Rule number one is to choose the meal ingredients wisely. Children enjoy dough more that you can imagine. It would be best if you prepare it before you ask for their help in order to avoid covering everything in flour. Once the dough is done, they can roll it, cut it, or they can even create different shaped cookies and enjoy the way it sticks to their fingers. If they are old enough to be trusted with a knife, they can chop vegetables or measure the different ingredients. Avoid having glasses with juice or water or any liquids on the cooking table, I am sure that you know the reason why.
The next step is to prepare the kitchen to be as easy as possible to clean once you are done with the cooking. And some appliances should be pre-cleaner, like the oven, your kitchen robot etc. The oven is hard to clean, if you can’t handle it yourself you could hire Spotless Oven Clean Specialists No harm will be done if you put plastic tablecloths on the table and under it. If anything is spilled after all, all you have to do is wipe it instead of washing it. Choose suitable clothes for your children, clothes that are okay to be stained and clothes that your children definitely won’t wear on the next day. Put on an apron. If this is going to be a regular hobby of yours, buy their own aprons, make them feel like professionals. They will appreciate it way more. If you or your daughter has long hair, tie it. Now you are all set for cooking!
If you want to save a lot of trouble, teach your children how important food is, tell them that cooking might be fun, but food is not a toy. Let them know why they should wash their hands before they touch any raw or already cooked food. Do your best to turn this into a habit of theirs.
A very important thing is to talk your kids into helping you cleaning after you have prepared the delicious meal for the entire family. It is a good example for the life lesson “clean up your own mess”. Once they know that they will have to clean up the mess they make, they will try to keep it small. The smaller the mess is, the less they will clean. They can wash the dishes, they can throw out the garbage or even swipe the floor – it all depends on their age, but no matter how old they are, they should not get away with cleaning.
Last but not least, keep them busy all the time. You need recipes that involve as much as action as possible. Make them read the instructions, explain them the process and the different techniques, teach them about the origin of the different ingredients. Cooking can be educational too. Make it fun, make them love it. And the mess, I hope won’t be huge, but even if it is, do not get angry or nervous, it is all a part of growing up and a way to make your little ones enjoy cooking.