We know it can be hard to inspire kids to cook, that’s why we have some tips on how to encourage the kids to join you in the kitchen to create delicious meals and loving memories.
In a world where kids are constantly inundated with screens, it can be hard to get them interested in cooking. However, teaching your kids to cook is not only a great way to bond with them, but it also gives them valuable life skills. So, let’s chat about why it’s so important to teach kids about cooking, tips for inspiring them, tools to get started, and more!
You all know that we love cooking healthy meals and encouraging kids to get into the kitchen, well, if you needed another reason to inspire the kiddos to help you cook, let them know you want to celebrate National Family Meals Month! While we love being in the kitchen as a family just about everyday, September is actually National Family Meals Month.
What Exactly Is National Family Meals Month?
National Family Meals Month™ is an industry-wide movement to raise awareness of the benefits of frequent family meals. I will tell you that one of my favorite benefits is the memories we make when we are all in the kitchen together 🙂 More conversations are had, more smiles are made and you tend to make healthier meal options. We are beyond excited to share in this movement that is promoted by the Food Marketing Institute along with Pure Flavor.
Why Teaching Kids About Cooking is So Important
One of the most important aspects of becoming an adult is learning how to be self-sufficient.
By inspiring your kids to cook simple, healthy meals, you’re not only teaching them valuable life skills, but also inspiring them to make better food choices. In addition to teaching kids about healthy eating, cooking also helps them develop other important life skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and patience.
Being in the kitchen as a family is a great inspire kids to express their creativity. And of course, let’s not forget the social aspect of cooking; sharing meals with others is a great way to bond and build relationships.
Tools You Need to Get Your Kids Started in the Kitchen
There are few things more gratifying than watching your kids enjoy the fruits of their labor. If you’re looking for ways to get your kids involved in the kitchen, here are a few tools to help get them started. With a little creativity, even the simplest of tasks can be turned into an opportunity for learning and fun. Measuring cups and spoons are great for teaching kids about portion sizes and measurements. Mixing bowls of different sizes can be used to teach them about volume. And using a timer is a great way to teach kids about following directions and paying attention to detail. Of course, no kitchen would be complete without your basic key appliances.
While you may already have many of the kitchen tools mentioned here, it may be helpful to get extra cutting boards, mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, knives, etc. to avoid fighting over the materials and allowing everyone to use them. Sure, it may mean extra clean up, but there’s no rule that says you can’t have the kiddos help with that aspect of working in the kitchen too!
Parenting tip: If you are getting extra kitchen tools, consider bringing your kids with you to the store when you buy them and letting them pick out their favorite colors and styles. Little things like this can help them feel more like it’s a project they can make their own.
Tips on Getting Kids Inspired to Get in the Kitchen
So, how do you get them actually excited to go into the kitchen? Here are a few tips:
1. Let them start by helping you with dinner. Whether it’s chopping vegetables or setting the table, involving your kids in the cooking process will make them feel more invested.
2. Make it a game. If you’re trying to get your kids to eat healthy foods, try making a game out of it. For instance, if they like to eat green peppers, challenge them to come up with as many ways as they can think of to prepare green peppers for dinner.
3. Take time to appreciate the food. Patience is a virtue, and it’s especially important when you’re trying to teach your kids about cooking. Even if they don’t find the actual cooking element to be fun, try to show them that the preparation of the food is an enjoyable experience in itself.
4. Don’t be afraid to get messy. If you’re trying to inspire your kids to be in the kitchen with you more, try letting them get their hands dirty. This will help them feel more comfortable cooking when they’re older.
5. Encourage them to look up recipes. There are a number of reasons why this is a good idea. For one, it helps them develop a love for cooking by searching for what they think would be good. When they’re able to find recipes that interest them and see how easy it is to make something delicious themselves, they’ll be more inspired to get into the kitchen and try their hand at cooking. So next time your kids are looking for something to do, suggest they find a recipe online and give it a try!
By the way – this might mean you have to step out of YOUR comfort zone with food too! But that’s okay, that’s what it’s all about…having a little fun, making memories, and being together as a family.
6. Make it educational. Go beyond the recipes and let them learn about the food and what foods are best for nourishing our bodies and why certain dishes are good/bad.
7. Turn it into an entertainment experience. Play music, dance around, and have fun while you cook. This will show your kids that cooking and being in the kitchen together can be an enjoyable activity.
8. Get them into the kitchen as early as possible. Starting young is important because it allows children to develop a love of cooking from a young age. If they enjoy cooking as kids, they’re more likely to continue enjoying it into adulthood. My daughter loved being in the kitchen when she was little and now she is in the culinary program in high school!
If you have older kids, you could try inspiring them by challenging them to come up with themed meals. For example, if they love Game of Thrones, what would House Targaryen eat for dinner? Deviled “dragon” eggs and “Dragon’s Breath” Hot Chicken perhaps? It may feel silly, but it can also be a lot of fun! You could also host your own family cooking competition.
Cooking is a great way for families to bond and connect with each other. It’s also a fun activity that everyone can enjoy regardless of age or skill level.