If you’re looking for things to do with your family, cooking could be the answer you’ve been searching for. Cooking with your family can be so much fun, not to mention a great bonding activity! Plus, it can be beneficial for them in so many ways. If you need more reason to get your aprons on as a family, this post is for you. Here’s my guide to fun cooking with the family:
Find Simple And Yummy Recipes To Start With
Before you make things too complicated, you need to be happy and confident using simple ingredients and following simple recipes. Start off by finding simple yet yummy recipes. There are so many ideas you can find online. You can cook simple things like pasta and sauce, as well as packet cupcakes! Get your kids into it by choosing a sweet treat to begin cooking. You could then move on to making dinner together and eating it together, which has so many benefits! Families who eat dinner together bond more, and children who do this can benefit in the following ways:
- Improved vocabulary.
- Less chance of smoking, drinking, and taking drugs as teenagers.
- Tendency to try more foods.
With that in mind, here are just some of the recipes you can try out together:
- Cupcakes and cookies.
- Packed lunches for school.
- Vegetables kabobs.
- Smoothie bowls.
- Veggie pizzas.
- Pitta pockets.
Make A Fun Game Out Of It
Making this as fun as possible for the family is important. Why not make a game out of it? You could host a family cook off once every few months, or even an annual one! Get your willing participants and split yourselves into two teams. Then follow a recipe and see what you can all come up with. The competition element makes it so much fun, and the aspect of teamwork can teach everybody how to work together and communicate.
Be Careful About How You Approach Mealtimes With Kids
Although you’d hope that your kids will eat everything they make with you, some kids don’t like foods they are unfamiliar with. You should be careful when you approach mealtimes with kids. When you watch the words you use and are careful about what you present to them, they will develop better eating habits as they grow up. Forcing your child to eat their dinner, more than they want to eat, or calling them ‘picky eaters’ can present all kinds of problems later on in life. You should consider their likes, but don’t always offer to cook them something else if they don’t like what you’ve served up. Serve 5 different things, including small snacks and condiments, for instance, salad items and toppings, as well as fruit and some juice. Then let them choose what they put on their plate. Be very careful about labelling your kids as types of eaters, as they may become attached to the label and start to attempt to live up to it. It can take them seeing a new food multiple times before they finally decide to try it themselves. You should never make too much of a big deal around your child’s meal times!
There’s so much more advice on this kind of thing online, if you want your children to be healthy, happy eaters.
Choose Something Based On Their Age And Ability
Pick something to cook based on your kid’s ages and ability. Make sure you supervise them with dangerous kitchen tools, and teach them how to stay safe in the kitchen. Buying them their own aprons, gloves, and things like this can make the whole thing so much more fun! As they develop more confidence and skills in the kitchen, you can cook more things together.
Let Your Kids Taste Things
As you cook your dinners and desserts, let your kids taste things as they go along. This can teach them about textures and tastes of different ingredients, as well as how different ingredients work together.
Teach Your Kids The Importance Of Hygiene
Hygiene is one of the most important things in the kitchen, so make sure you incorporate this into your cooking sessions too. Showing and then explaining why you do these things should do the trick. Hopefully, you will have taught your child about the importance of hygiene in other areas of life too. This should make it easy for them to make the connection when it comes to cooking and handling food items. Teach them by setting a good example, and then explaining what you’re doing.
Always Plan Ahead
So that you have everything you need to cook your meal, make sure you plan ahead. Choose a recipe in advance and make sure you have all of the ingredients you need. Make sure you read it through twice, as certain things can be hidden in the body of the recipe without you realizing it. Taking the kids shopping for ingredients can make the process even more fun and build up some excitement around it.
Prepare For Lots of Mess
You must prepare for mess when you’re cooking with kids. This is all part of the fun, so don’t worry too much! Just tidy up once you’re done. You can tidy up as you go along, but don’t stress too much about it, as you’ll spoil it for them. Give everybody aprons, and lay down some newspaper on the floor if you think it’ll help. Then, just get to work and ignore the mess until it’s time to clean up! Getting your kids involved in the clean up is a good idea too, but make sure you consider their age. It can be good to do this, even if it seems like they are making more of a mess attempting to clean up and taking a very long time. It teaches them the importance of doing it after everything they do, and they should become more willing to help around the house. It can be tempting to do it yourself for the sake of being quick, but you want your kids to learn!
Really Take Your Time Over Recipes
You can’t rush cooking with kids if you want them to get involved properly. You need to leave plenty of time, even if the recipe appears to be quite simple. You need to let them attempt to read the recipe and work out what to do to help them develop their skills. It’ll take longer, which is why you need to make sure it’s as fun as possible, and you’ve planned ahead. Rushing recipes will only end up in disaster, and you’ll suck the fun out of it for your kids. As you’ll likely be standing with them for a long time, using kitchen mats can help to alleviate pain on your legs. We’ll talk more about the skills you can help them to develop now!
Improve Your Kid’s Math Skills (And Many Other Skills)
Cooking can help your children to improve many of their skills. One major skill it can help them to develop without them hardly realising it, is maths. As you need to measure out ingredients for many recipes, and go shopping for ingredients, their maths skills will sharpen up like you wouldn’t believe! It doesn’t stop there either. Many of their other skills will improve, such as their language skills. They may even improve their science skills, as they learn about how different ingredients react and what they do when they get put in the oven. Many people say that cake baking is a science!
Teach Your Kids About Being Healthy
As well as making yummy things like cakes, you have the opportunity to make healthy meals too. You could even make healthy versions of your favorite treat meals. This will help you to teach your kids about being healthy, how to be healthy and why it’s so important. Many kids have no idea about health and why it’s important, and cooking is a great way to do it. It can also teach them how to have a balanced lifestyle, which is equally as important. Just make sure you watch your language, as mentioned earlier. You don’t want to give your kids complexes. It’s all about teaching balance!
Improve Your Kids Emotional And Social Development
Emotional and social development can happen early on in kids that cook too. If they have siblings, they’ll all be encouraged to work as a team and take it in turns. They’ll get used to sharing and communicating, which is great for them when they go to school. When you all sit down to eat together, you bond emotionally too!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide to fun cooking with the family! Cooking different recipes, and cooking with the family are my favorite things to do. I love how close it makes us feel, and of course, the eating yummy food part. It’s so beneficial for everybody involved, I try to do it as regularly as I can. If you have any tips or thoughts of your own, leave them below. Come back for more tips, recipes, and other cool stuff soon!
My kids love cooking! I have two little girls, the eldest loves to bake particularly but she also loves cooking meals with mommy. Thanks for the ideas!