Blog - 08 September 2023
Embarking on culinary adventures with your child is a great way to create lasting memories and grow a stronger bond. While it’s a journey that is undeniably rewarding, it can be quite challenging when cooking with children. Fear not, for here are some top tips to transform cooking with little ones into an enjoyable and sanity-preserving experience for all!
Before we delve into the tips, it’s important to discuss the benefits of involving children in cooking:
Alongside the benefits, there can be challenges when cooking and baking with children. Here are some tips you may want to consider the next time you plan to have your little one join you in the kitchen!
Timing is everything when it comes to doing any activity with children. Choose a time in a day when they feel the most energetic and eager to engage in a new activity. Cooking with a cranky, hungry, or tired child is destined for a disaster, so ensure they are well-rested, fed, and happy to help!
It’s inevitable. If you can’t avoid it, then embrace it! From sprinkles all over the counter to eggshells in batter, and even some flour in hair (or hair in the flour), tell yourself that messes happen and it’s okay. You wouldn’t want to focus so much on being squeaky clean during cooking, but more on the process and the preparation. But that’s not to let them get away with the mess they created – involve them in the clean-up process after, so they learn to understand cleaning up is part of the experience.
Making the cooking and cleaning process fun will help kids develop a positive association with cooking, which is often seen as a difficult chore by many.
Children of all ages are naturally curious. Getting children to explore different tastes and textures of food engages them in the process and allows them to enjoy cooking even more. Children are more likely to be open to trying new foods (or flavours) when they are involved in the process of creating them. And of course, tasting the final creation together will make the experience much more enjoyable and memorable for them.
While you may be tempted to take control of the full recipe, it’s also helpful for your child to take charge wherever possible. If you’re cooking with a small child, easier tasks like beating an egg or adding milk to the batter will make them feel involved. Remember, no task is too small or meaningless. This is where you need your patience. Instead of saying, “I’ll just do it myself because you’ll spill it,” or “Watch mummy do it this time,” let your child have a go and only provide guidance. It’ll help develop a greater sense of independence and responsibility for them.
Creating these memories with your child will be cherished forever – sure, it may look like your kitchen was bombed after, or you both might have lost your patience at times, or even the recipe may not have turned out exactly right – but, nothing compares to the joy your child will have had spending time with you. It’s not worth it if they don’t enjoy it. So, have fun and make the most of your time together!
In collaboration with leading nutritionist Claire Bucek, Camp Australia has recently completed a pilot program, launching our upgraded menu options in Your OSHC and Rocketeers, with 50 new recipes created along with a variety of fresh ingredients added to our grocery list!
Each service will have access to tailored ingredients that cater to the dietary requirements of the children, as well as what they would love to make and eat. Ask your Coordinator about the weekly menu options and book into Your OSHC for more exciting culinary experiences to come!