Cooking is such a great activity to do together, and a great way of engaging with children. Our top tips below will help to keep things stress-free and fun!
Get all of the ingredients and implements out before you start. Ask your child to help you count how many items you need if relevant to the recipe (e.g. 2 bananas, 5 carrots) to practice their maths skills
Make washing hands a habit - before you cook, when you handle meat and after cooking
Make it fun! Many studies have shown children learn best through play and this includes cooking
Make the time. We find it works best to make cooking together a regular time each week - such as Saturday afternoons or Sunday mornings. None of our recipes should take over an hour to make from start to finish, including the cooking time, and many of them will be much less than that
Don’t stress about the mess. We would be the first to admit this isn’t always easy, but choosing a time when you aren’t expecting visitors or needing to rush out afterwards helps. Cooking together should be about connection, fun, creating memories and imparting life skills – not anxiety! After all, we’ll probably want them cooking for us one day!
Be patient. Resist the urge to “do it for them” just because it’s faster. They won’t learn if you don’t let them try on their own. Praise their efforts. They probably won’t get things right first time and may make lots of mistakes, but praising the effort they put into it, irrespective of the result, will help nurture a determination and love of cooking in your little ones. A little step or stool will help very little cooks reach the worktops more easily
Do the 'chores' together too. Try to make clearing up the kitchen after you’ve finished a shared responsibility with your little cooks, as well as laying the table for dinner