Cooking With Your Children (cont.)
One good place to start is the first meal of the day: breakfast. Evidence suggests that eating breakfast improves memory and test grades (some elements of a healthy breakfast are high-fiber and nutrient-rich whole grains, fruits, and dairy products).
Pressed for time in the morning? Start cooking breakfast with your kids on the weekends, during the summer months, or on school holidays.
For many of us, dinner offers the best opportunity for cooking with our children day in and day out. One tip: Set out some washed and sliced fruits and vegetables to munch on, and nutritious or zero-calorie beverages to sip while you're cooking. This means the children (and you!) will be less likely to nibble on the dinner ingredients while you work.
And just how old do your children have to be to help out in the kitchen? Many start to express an interest in cooking at around 2 or 3, and that's not too early to start.
Especially for younger children, it's important to set your kids up for success. Structure the work area so they are less likely to spill. You can also have them do their measuring with a jellyroll pan underneath to catch any spills.
Remember that the easier dishes are to prepare, the more likely the kids will try making them again. Start with things like breads, muffins, pasta, smoothies, and fun sandwiches. Slowly work your way up to the fancier stuff. Here are some age-appropriate cooking skills your children should be able to master.
Under 5 years old:
8-10 years olds:
Everything listed above, plus some more advanced duties, such as:
Here are a few recipes that your children should enjoy making and eating.
Perfect Pita Pizza
Journal as: 2 slices of bread + 2 ounces of low-fat cheese (plus any toppings you use)
This pizza can be assembled by children of any age, though the baking needs to be done by someone aged preteen to adult.
1 large pita bread (use whole-grain if available)