I didn’t learn how to cook until I was married, and, if truth be told, I feel like I’m still learning. If you are still learning how to cook, the exciting part is that now you can learn to cook with your kids!
I didn’t grow up in the kitchen.
I don’t fault her for not teaching me how to cook; I was lazy, clumsy, and I always had my nose stuck in a book.
Simply put, I was domestically challenged. (I am the humbleD homemaker, after all!)
The few times my sister and I did try our hands at “cooking” (a.k.a. making jello), we left the kitchen in such disarray for my poor mom to clean on her own that she said enough was enough.
My friend Katie at Kitchen Stewardship has developed a phenomenal cooking class for kids called Kids Cook Real Food! She opens enrollment every few months, and she also offers a FREE Knife Skills Class before each new class starts! Katie starts out with easy recipes, and my girls have really enjoyed the classes they have taken through this program!
If you want to teach your kids to cook, I highly recommend checking out the knife skills class and Kids Cook Real Food (the curriculum map in particular will help you know if this class is a good fit for your family)!
Over the past decade, I’ve learned how to cook slowly, deliberately, following recipes word-for-word, failing more than succeeding in the early years.
Although most dishes turn out wonderfully now, I would still consider myself more of a novice than a seasoned cook. Yes, I make our meals from scratch, and I can convert recipes to match our gluten-free lifestyle, but more times than not, I still follow recipes meticulously.
And I’m OK with that.
However, I’ve decided that while I continue to teach myself how to cook, I want to bring my girls alongside of me, so we can learn how to cook together.
Thankfully, they’ve been eager to learn, and I love that I can teach them vocabulary and all kinds of life lessons while we are in the kitchen together.
Here are 4 ways you can learn how to cook with your kids:
1. Invite them into the kitchen with you.
During the toddler years, most children will be naturally curious about whatever it is that mommy is doing–whether it be baking bread or cleaning the toilets!
My 3-year-old is still in this stage. As soon as she sees me start spreading my cooking supplies on our kitchen island, she pulls a stool over and asks: “Can I help?”
My oldest two–now ages 5 and 7–are less inclined to “help” me in the kitchen than they used to be. I’ve learned that I can’t wait on them to volunteer anymore; I must invite them in and make it fun.
Letting them stir, sprinkle in spices, and even taste test makes them feel important and like they are truly contributing to making the meals (which they are!).
2. Show and tell.
As a word person, I love teaching my girls new vocabulary. This doesn’t end in the kitchen.
Just last night, as my 3-year-old was helping me make our Blue Apron meal (our healthier alternative to eating out during super busy weeks!), I taught her the words “mince,” “whisk,” and “shallot.”
I don’t think I knew what a shallot even was until my 30s, but my 3-year-old now knows! While I was mincing the shallot, I asked her to repeat the word “mince,” and I showed her that it meant chopping the vegetable into very small pieces.
When it came time to whisk the dressing for the salad, I pulled out a small whisk and told her that the utensil was called a whisk, and I showed her that turning it around quickly was the act of “whisking” as well.
Sure, these terms might not stick after one time using them in the kitchen, but, hopefully, in time, she will knows these–as well as other kitchen and cooking terminology–well.
3. Pre-Measure Your Ingredients.
Yes, this step takes a little forethought, but I’ve found that when I already have my ingredients pre-measured, it’s much easier to have my kids helping me in the kitchen.
This way, I’m not stopping every few seconds to pull out the measuring spoons and cups and check and re-check my recipes to make sure I’m measuring correctly.
This is easy when we use our Blue Apron meals because all of the ingredients come pre-measured.
Of course, as my girls get older, teaching them how to measure will be vital.
But, for now, and especially with my 3-year-old, using pre-measured ingredients helps take the stress out of learning how to cook with my children.
4. Make a BIG deal out of their helping.
It’s OK to brag to your husband that your kids helped you cook dinner.
After my 3-year-old helped me cook the Blue Apron meal last night, I made a big deal to our family that Mommy didn’t cook dinner alone but that Little H and Mommy had made dinner together.
This made my little girl feel proud of her hard work, gave her confidence, and I have no doubt it will motivate her to join me in the kitchen again and again.
FREE Blue Apron Deal!
Our family has enjoyed using Blue Apron as an alternative to eating out. Blue Apron delivers all the farm-fresh ingredients you need, right to your doorstep, in exactly the right proportions. No trips to the grocery store and no waste from unused ingredients.
They are generously offering $30 off your first order!
Blue Apron ships to most of the country, and shipping is always free. There is no commitment (which I love!); you can cancel at any time.
Here’s how to get this deal:
- Click the link below:
2. Click the orange button on the top of the page to get $30 off your first Blue Apron order!
Did you grow up knowing how to cook? What are some ways you are learning how to cook with your kids?
Thank you, Blue Apron, for underwriting this post and providing great, healthy food for our family!