Generally, children love to be involved in preparing food. Of course, there are some things you cannot let them do, but from a young age, there are lots of things they can help with.
It is more than just learning how to prepare food. As they start to read it will teach them to follow instructions, about weights and measures and you will find that things they have always said no to, they will often try when they have helped to make them.
Make Time To Spend In The Kitchen With Them
Not having time is no excuse for not getting your kids into the kitchen. It does not need to be every day, but spending a couple of hours at a weekend can be fun for you and them. Start with simple basic things, such as breakfast for the family. This might be a bowl of cereals, mixing pancakes or spreading the butter on some toast. This will get them used to the idea of being in the kitchen and they will be so proud of themselves when they pass the breakfasts round that they have prepared.
Find Some Simple Recipes
Prepare for the weekend cooking session by spending just a few minutes in the week going through some cookbooks for simple recipes. They don’t need to be any special kind of cookbook, as they will all have some easy recipes in. Then you can have all the ingredients to hand so that you can start cooking when you are ready. The recipes should not involve frying or roasting while they are young, as hot fat can be a real danger to them.
Teach Them Other Ways
They need to know that if you do not have all the equipment a recipe says to use, there are other ways to do things.
For instance, if you do not have any weighing scales you can tell them that I heaped tablespoon of flour is the same as I ounce of flour. For sugar, it is 1 level tablespoon that equates to 1 ounce. Butter is usually in half-pound blocks. Mark it from corner to corner to get 4 ounces, and the same with the other two corners if you need two ounces.
If the recipe says to whisk something and you do not have a whisk, use a fork to beat it. This will take a little longer, but it will still work.
If you are making cookies with them, remember they do not always have to be round. Making them into other shapes can be fun for children, and if you take a look at fishcookiecutter.com you will see some great ideas. It is only because we have been raised to think that cookies should be round that we tend to make them that way. There is no reason at all why they cannot be whatever shape the kids want them to be.
There is no doubt that you could make most dishes quicker on your own, but you need to have patience with the kids and you may find that cooking with them is a really fun experience. The more they get to help in the kitchen the quicker they will become, and then when you next are making pizza toppings, for instance, they will be just as quick as you.