Cooking is a great life skill to have, and if your child is already showing culinary interests encourage them to explore them.
Depending on their age, it can be tricky to let them help out in the kitchen. However, when my oldest son was seven he started off washing chicken, peeling boiled eggs, measuring ingredients, and other similar tasks.
Now, at 12 he has moved on to other kitchen tasks such as making Mac & Cheese (supervised) and making rice in the Instant Pot.
Today, I’ll be sharing with you some of the ways that I’ve encouraged his culinary interests.
Involve them in food preparation
When children are younger they love to be helpful.
Understandably, things do take longer to get done with their help. However, set aside a few days per week where they can help you with food preparation.
Depending on your child’s age they could do things such as wash fruits and veggies, measure out ingredients, and mix ingredients.
Let them play culinary cooking games
Kids are so tech-savvy these days, even in elementary school.
Culinary cooking games are a great way for them to learn the steps for preparing food.
Over the winter break, I introduced my oldest son to the kid’s cooking games at CulinarySchools.org and he’s been spending at least 1 hour per day playing.
He prefers playing games where he’s actually serving the customers (with his current favorite being Coffee Shop) vs the games where you’re not serving customers.
Don’t let the category fool you either, CuilnarySchools.org has cooking games that are great for even adults. Coffee Shop actually reminds me of a lemonade stand game I used to play when I was my son’s age – it’s nice to see the similarities we have that he doesn’t know lol.
The kids know that I play cooking games on my iPad, but they are more intense than they’d prefer. With these kids cooking games they’re able to bond with me doing something that I enjoy that is also fun for them and doesn’t require an intense learning curve.
Plus, they get to learn about new food dishes in the process!
Have them watch food shows
Thanks to food shows like MasterChef Junior and Good Eats, children can be exposed to a variety of different dishes.
By watching food shows they’ll learn about dishes from different cultures and see basic food prep being done by kids.
Watching food shows together is also a great bonding experience for the entire family.
Teach them how to make basic dishes
As your kids get older you can teach them how to make their favorite basic dishes, which in return will help make preparing dinner a little easier for you.
Elementary school-aged kids can master making sandwiches, oatmeal, and pop tarts. While middle school-aged kids can start preparing Mac & Cheese, noodles, and rice.
My middle son likes to help with making baby food, my oldest loves making Mac & Cheese, and my youngest son will make oatmeal, but he prefers his food to be made for him (lol).
Sign them up for a cooking class
Cooking classes are a great way for kids to get hands-on experience making dishes that you don’t typically make.
You may have some local kids cooking classes available in your area or you can opt for virtual kids cooking classes.
These tips will help you encourage your child’s culinary interests
If you have a budding little chef on your hands, these tips will help you encourage your child’s culinary interests. Plus, an added benefit is this is something that you can bond over, and potentially start some new family traditions while doing.