Many children love to help their parents cook and bake, but most of the time you don’t want little helpers because they cause more work. I understand completely. There are some children who seem to have an extra special interest and talent in this area. Don’t pass up an opportunity to foster a love of cooking and train a future cook to take over your kitchen duties! Doesn’t that sound nice? When you recognize that this is an area your child seems to be interested in pursuing, what can you as a parent do to encourage your young chef?
1. Let Them Help Prepare Meals
Your own kitchen is a great place to begin training your budding chef. When you make meals, invite your child to assist you so that they can see the basics of good kitchen management. Train them in basic food safety, as well as measuring and preparing. Ba Bam! Sneaky homeschool lesson! Having a handle on the basics of food preparation will make their kitchen adventures happen much more easily and without frustration.
2. Take Them Grocery Shopping
Buy them a children’s cookbook and let them choose a simple meal to prepare. Your budding chef will likely enjoy shopping for the food they prepare. When you buy groceries, take them with you and let them help you find the ingredients they will need. This will help them learn the entire process of cooking, from the beginning to the finished product.
3. Grow a Small Garden
You don’t need tons of space to grow a small garden. Growing things like vegetables and herbs will give your child knowledge about where food actually comes from. To be able to prepare a meal with something they have grown themselves will be a great confidence booster. And children are often more willing to try new ingredients if they have grown it themselves.
4. Watch Cooking Shows
Let’s face it, watching cooking shows can be an inspiration to any person who enjoys tinkering in the kitchen. Many young children like to watch cooking shows where the hosts seem to have a talent for making the process look very enjoyable. There are even shows targeted to kids. Find a few that teach your young chef how to make some simple dishes, and let them be inspired by someone whose passion is preparing tasty meals.
There are often classes you can find that focus on the culinary arts, and there are even cooking schools devoted solely to it. Many of them have classes for children. Enroll your child in a course so they can learn new cooking tips and how to cook delicious dishes that you may not even know about. See if your child has any friends with the same interest, and it will give them an opportunity to spend time together while growing a new skill.
6. Encourage Your Child
Encourage your budding chef, and let them know what a great job they are doing. Be willing to try all their creations, even the ones that do not appear appetizing at the first glance. Teach them everything you can think of in regards to kitchen skills, and be available as often as possible to assist them.
Raising a budding chef is a lot of work. It can be messy and time consuming. But it’s an investment that is sure to have great returns in a short amount of time. As your child grows more knowledgeable and capable in regards to cooking and baking, you will reap the benefits. In no time, you will be asking your budding chef to cook for you and enjoying the fruit of your labor.