Kids in the kitchen are a great way to encourage the culinary arts in our young ones.
Having kids in the kitchen can add a lot of fun to your kitchen chores but a few safety tips might help prevent any injuries from occurring. Let kids sit or stand at a counter or table that is comfortable for them. Teach kids not to touch anything that is hot. Using paper cut-outs of hands, place them at a safe distance – kind of a boundary that little hands are not allowed to cross. Keep long hair tied back and show your children how to test the temperature of food with a kitchen thermometer – oh, the pain of very hot food!
Children are more interested in the procedure of cooking than in the actual food products used. A perfect dish is not the ultimate success story, but a lot of fun combining shapes, sizes, textures, and colors will give young chefs a great start in the culinary arts. When cooking with kids, keep the process simple and explain each step. Don’t give in to the urge to “help” too much, let them try on their own with your constant supervision. What equipment can kids safely use: rotary beaters, sifters, whisks, mashers, rolling pins, juicers, etc. What kind of dishes to start with: French toast, pancakes, fruit salad using a melon baller, muffins, cookies, stir-fry veggies, mashed potatoes, guacamole, and salsa. When you have a small garden, picking the produce and actually using it in a dish is the “way to go.”
Enjoy the help, the fun, and especially the smiles. ENJOY!