Giggles, smiles, laughter and cute little hands working hard on building recipes with wholesome ingredients is such a beautiful thing. My children love getting in the kitchen with their aprons on and getting their hands dirty. I love having them there and creating great memories in the process that will last a lifetime.
It’s important to teach your children about the benefits of homemade food and nutrition. As they grow up, they will be bombarded with bad messages from corporations who care more about profits than about the well being of your little ones. It’s a sad truth.
One day my children will be older and make their own choices in life and I hope they remember some of the things I have taught them! Although I must admit I do wish they would stay little forever.
Hopefully the time spent together in the kitchen and around the dining room table will help influence the adults my children will one day become. Cooking with whole ingredients, baking healthy treats and discussing food ingredients are activities that take place often in my home. My son loves looking through cookbooks and deciding on what we should make next.
Of course it doesn’t matter if the food turns out perfectly or has visual appeal. Most of the time it won’t actually. But cooking with the kids is one of those adventures where the fun is in the journey and not the destination.
I want my children to know the investment is worth it. Proper food is necessary for a healthy and prosperous life. A parent can only hope that lessons taught will sink in, and that, one day, they may pass the lessons learned on to their children.
Today my kiddies are making a homemade pizza with grandma. Yes, the dough is wheat flour that I don’t eat so I won’t be enjoying the pizza but I’ll certainly enjoy the time spent together.
Here are a few tips for getting your children active in the kitchen (and loving whole, healthy food!)
- Talk about food! Discuss the ingredients and how they affect the body. Carrots are good for eyesight. My son loves super heroes so good eyesight is a must (well, unless you are Daredevil apparently).
- Get some educational food books from the library or browse cook books together. Let your kids choose healthy recipes they want to make. Then actually buy the ingredients the next shopping trip and make it with them.
- Let your children come to the grocery store. Let them sit in the buggy and hold the ingredients as you shop. If they show interest in a specific produce item, buy it!
- If my son asks for broccoli for dinner that night, I try my very best to make it. A child showing interest in veggies should always be encouraged.
- Buy a toy kitchen set with cloth and toy food. You can get a simple wooden one from ikea for a pretty reasonable price. They also sell pots, pan and cooking utensils for the kitchen set. My children love making pretend food for us. We enjoy their creations (over and over again). My hubby loves pretending to burn himself on the soup and my kids laugh hysterically.
- Make the baking or cooking experience fun for them. Expect the recipe will not turn out perfect and they will almost certainly be messy.
- Have stools handy so they can reach the counter easily or lay a sheet on the kitchen floor and bring the baking to their level. You can simply scoop up the sheet and shake the crumbs off outside.
- Get some baking aprons for the kids!
- Do any cutting or hard parts of the recipe yourself. Danger and frustration does not add to the process.
My son focuses on his creation above. A mini pizza that he will roll, sauce and add topping of this choice. How cute is that focused concentration?
I hope some of the tips above will help you find a way to get your children active in the kitchen. It’s such a fun process that everyone should get to experience. In todays world of fast instafood it becomes ever more important that we teach our children the lessons necessary to lead a healthy long life!
Do you agree? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic!
Until next time,