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.
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–ages 5 and 7 at this writing–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 Home Chef 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 Home Chef 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 Home Chef 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.
Our family has enjoyed using Home Chef as an alternative to eating out. Home Chef 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 $35 off your first order!
Home Chef ships to most of the country. There is no commitment (which I love!); you can cancel at any time.
Here’s how to get this deal:
- Click here, and the $35 off will automatically be applied to your order. Make sure the green bar at the top of your screen says, “Voucher code successfully applied for $35 off your first order.”
- Step 2: Enter email address. They will send you order updates, menu updates, and future promotions. You can unsubscribe at any time.
- Step 3: Pick the number of portions (2,4, or 6) & number of meals per week (2-6). If you pick 4 or more portions, shipping is free. If you pick 2 portions, shipping is free with 3 or more meals per week. Otherwise, shipping is $10. (Note: At this update that I’m writing in 2020, our family is now 6 people, but a meal box for 4 fed us for one meal.)
- Step 4: Indicate food preferences. You can select if you are interested in vegetarian, low-calorie, or low-carb. You can also list foods to avoid. Each week’s menu features 18+ different meal options, but your choices will be more limited if you indicate different food preferences in this section.
- Step 5: Enter shipping information, and pick your first delivery date. You will be charged for this delivery upon checkout. Your preferred weekly delivery day can be changed anytime. You don’t need to be home when your meals are delivered.
- Step 6: Enter payment information. With the $35 off promotion, the cheapest option is 2 meals per week with 2 portions per meal for just $14.80 shipped. I selected 4 portions 2 times a week for $44.60. March 2020 Update: This fed our family of 6 (kids are 11, 9, 7, and 3) for two dinners. The meal for 4 is for four adults, so that box should be fine if you are ordering for 2 adults and 3-4 children. I would go up to the next size box if you have more than 4 young children. You will now be charged for your first delivery. Yes, this happens before you can pick your meals, which isn’t preferable, but Home Chef does offer enough meal options to satisfy pretty much any tastes. For all future deliveries, you will be charged the Friday before your order arrives. You can choose to skip a future delivery by the Friday before the delivery date at 1:00 p.m. EST.
- Step 7: Pick your meals. Most meal options are $9.95 per serving, but they also have salad entrees options for just $6.99 per serving. The amount your credit card is charged will be adjusted depending on the price of the meals you select. They also have some premium meal options for up to $12 per serving. As well, they offer meat-only boxes.
Did you grow up knowing how to cook? What are some ways you are learning how to cook with your kids?