It's Kids Kitchen Night in my house. Do you cook with your kids often? I'll admit I do not invite my children into the kitchen for every meal preparation. I am a lot like you. Tired, busy, and stressed out by my mile long list of things to do. Usually meal prep is completed quickly and kid free. I do however try to slow down one night a week to get my kids in the kitchen. It requires a little extra time and patience but is important to me for several reasons.
Baja Chicken Tacos Raw Ingredients
Cooking builds confidence; some children need more opportunities to strengthen their confidence than others. My kids’ faces light up with pride whenever they get involved with meal preparation. Amazingly, they are often able to accomplish tasks traditionally meant for adults. Later, during dinner, we will enjoy stories of how one cut the mangoes just the right size and the other browned the chicken without burning a single piece. Every job is important and that sauce just wouldn't have been the same without that child’s impressive stirring skills. Even though it might seem their heads are blowing up bigger than hot air balloons, it’s important to let them have their moment of glory as a confidence-builder. Cooking also helps kids learn about kitchen safety early in life, preventing kitchen nightmares later. We can preach that a knife is sharp, the oven is hot, and raw chicken will make you sick until we are blue in the faces. The mystery of these dangers always seem to draw kids in anyway. The fact is kids are doers, not so much listeners. Let's teach them how to safely use and handle these kitchen dangers. Any chef will tell you that kitchen injuries are most likely going to happen when you don't know what you're doing.
Kids Kitchen Night doesn't mean you have to eat simpleton kid friendly food. Litehouse Instantly Fresh Herbs and Dressings helps to save the kids a lot of prep time while giving meals the fresh flavors adults love. Call the kids into the kitchen and let Litehouse guide the way to their first dinner success! Any recipe can be child inclusive if age appropriate jobs are given to the little helpers.
- Toddlers 2-4 years old can stir, scoop ingredients with a measuring spoon, and help fetch ingredients being used.
- Young children 5-7 years can do everything above plus tossing heavier ingredients, cutting softer ingredients with a butter knife while learning knife safety, and learning how to handle raw meat.
- Older kids 8 and up can do everything above plus learning how to use sharp knives, helping cook meat, and doing any stirring at the stove.
While cooking, talk about what ingredients are being used and how they help their little bodies and minds grow strong. Taste veggies before they get cooked and again after, talk about the difference. Take the time to stop and let them smell each and every bottle of herbs being used (my kids love doing this!)