As a parent, making sure your children know the essential life skills necessary to take care of themselves is one of your primary responsibilities. Once your children grow up and pursue their own careers and eventually leave home, you’ll want peace of mind knowing they can adequately feed themselves a home-cooked meal made with fresh, healthy ingredients.
Unfortunately, these days teaching children to cook is a lot easier said than done. With today’s fast-food and microwaveable ‘instant’ meals, the necessity to learn to cook satisfying food from scratch isn’t as prevalent in our lives as it once was.
With that said, it’s still essential that your kids are equipped with basic cooking skills so that they don’t risk skipping meals when ordering in isn’t convenient for them. Let’s take a look at some hot tips you can use to get your kids interested in learning to cook.
1. Teach them to cook their favourite meals
The easiest way to encourage a child to learn to cook is to present it to them as a means of getting their hands on a meal they love. For example, if your kids go bananas every time you mention its lasagne night, then perhaps teach them how lasagne can be made from scratch.
Once your kids realise that cooking can be a shortcut to food they really love, they’ll be more likely to pick up a spatula and lend a hand. Use this as a basis to get them to learn independent cooking skills so that they’ll slowly start to see the activity as less of a chore.
2. Introduce them to ‘foodie’ culture and cooking shows
Half the fun of cooking is the culture you can be a part of that’s just as much about having fun while doing it as it is getting a great end result. When your kids see cooking as a social activity that adults have fun with and discuss at length, they are going to naturally want to emulate this to some degree or another.
This also helps introduce your kids to lots of different dishes and styles of cuisine which may inspire them even further. Seeing just how exotic and diverse other cultural foods can be can encourage your kids to want to ‘try it all’ and experiment with cooking it for themselves.
3. Involve their friends
Another great strategy to get your kids interested in cooking is to involve their friends in the activity so that it’s more fun for them. It’s a good idea to conspire with other parents to have all your kids learning together on a weekend playdate so that everyone can benefit.
4. Invest in play food sets early-on
When your children are very young, they might show interest in play kitchen sets with plastic food they can pretend to cook. These types of toys have gotten very elaborate in recent years with them mimicking miniature kitchens complete with fake appliances and knobs.
Needless to say, these kinds of toys introduce cooking paraphernalia to your kids more directly. This warms them up to cooking from an early age, so they’ll be more willing to learn when they get older.