Teaching the younger generation life skills is essential and typically a priority in most households. A crucial life skill for children is to become educated in nutrition and how to become comfortable in the kitchen. Whether that is learning how to grow herbs or vegetables in the garden properly or how to bake cookies from scratch, here is our breakdown of tips and tricks on how to guide children to reconnect and become passionate with the heart of the home.
- Guide Them On Choosing And Harvesting Ingredients
First and foremost, guiding children through how food is grown, harvested, and or hunted is important. Whether sharing about venison, to growing apples on trees, the key is showing children Mother Nature’s beauty. Remember, children are sponges. They want to learn, adapt, and develop the skills that you possess.
We suggest starting small and investing in small pinch pots to grow herbs that can be incorporated into multiple recipes in the future. Some top recommended herbs include basil, thyme, cilantro, rosemary, and dill. From seeds to sprouting plants, it’s important to give children the easy responsibility of learning how to plant and then help the seedling thrive with daily watering. Plus, herbs are typically an inexpensive investment. So while the herb grows, watch your children’s delight in reaping the benefits of their work and dedication.
If you seek a grander experience, consider installing and growing a vegetable garden. Depending on the geographic region, garden size, and soil type, the species of vegetables and or fruit you plant may differ. We recommend researching before investing and planting what types of produce you will grow successfully and enjoy consuming. A few popular choices include cherry tomatoes, lettuce, jalapeno peppers, kale, carrots, raspberries, cucumbers, and squash.
If hunting is a skill set that your family possesses, we suggest signing your children up for gun safety classes. They will learn to respect, handle, and use a firearm properly. Another way to include children in the hunting season is to have them join for a hunt. First, have them learn the importance of conservation, how to prepare for a hunt, and then the steps, including the types of blinds or deer stands, and how to break down and gut a deer properly. This experience is the definition of field to fork.
- Teach Them The Basics
This is a lesson for all ages. Teach your children the kitchen basics, and they will become more comfortable with cooking. An important skill for their future. Introduce the kiddos the basics, from utensil discussions to the differences between powdered sugar and almond flour.
We first recommend keeping safety at the forefront. Teach your children that ovens and stove tops are hot. Outside of appliances that are hot in temperature and may cause burns, teach about other cooking appliances and equipment such as blenders, hand mixers, and knives. It’s crucial that children comprehend what is sharp, hot, and or can hurt them if it is not correctly used and or managed by an adult.
Another step to include regarding kitchen basics are the types of utensils to use. Teach them about measuring cups, measuring spoons, spatulas, and whisks. All utensils have a purpose, and kids need to understand their uses. Once cooking and baking tools are discussed, walk through the proper way to set the table. Once they are satisfied, have them begin setting the table and compliment them.
The last step of kitchen basics is food safety and keeping health and hygiene at the forefront. Ensure children continuously clean their hands with warm water and soap. By ingraining this step, children will understand to always keep their hands and fingers clean. In addition, teach children to have a tasting spoon and not to double dip if it is a dish that will be consumed by multiple.
- Connect Them With Family Recipes
For those that are blessed with family recipes, they can hit an emotion in us that is comforting and downright nostalgic. Whether it be a dish from grandma, your mom, or your uncle Tom, they evoke memories you will most likely want to share with your children. Locate a few recipes that mean something to you and teach your kiddos the importance of that recipe. Whether it be a secret ingredient like almond extract vs vanilla in cookies or how to fold dough adequately, share these tips with your children, so they can continue to pass them along. If a recipe is derived from your nationality, teach them the connection and its importance to your family. Describe the flavors and potential events or celebrations the culinary dish is also connected to.
- Make It Fun
Make it fun! In our eyes, this is the most important step. Keep cooking lighthearted and enjoyable. If you see it this way, children will also learn to embrace it. It is not something to dread or stress over, but make it involved, creative, and adventurous.
Put on some fun music, pick out an apron, choose a fun spoon to stir with, invest in a children’s safety chair or stand, and get to work.
When the importance of fun is instilled, children’s creativity can shine.
- Complete The Experience With Enjoying And Savoring
Once the fresh baked cookies or 3-course meal is complete, enjoy the food together. Compliment your kid and how much you appreciate their help and how proud you are of them for what they created. This experience will create a core memory and bond that can last a lifetime. To have an entire family involved, create fun menus, and sit down as a group to discuss how you made each dish and their favorite part. This step not only creates conversation but gets them to reminisce on their recent experience in the kitchen.
We hope these top 5 tips on how to get kids more involved in the kitchen helped inspire you and hopefully get your kiddos comfortable in creating something delicious.
Happy cooking, friends!