Tips for Cooking With Kids

A few thoughts after cooking with my kids for 12 years.
  1. At a very young age, teach your kids basic knife skills. Hand toddlers a butter knife and a soft piece of fruit like a peach or a pear. Next safest knife is a serrated knife. They can practice sawing and keeping their fingers curled under and out of the way. Paring knife next. Then the chef knife!
  2. Hand them scraps of dough to make mini tarts. Let them over-mix, over-fill, over-do.
  3. Kids are more likely to eat their dinner if they participate in the shopping and cooking.
  4. Never force your kids to cook with you. Let them see you enjoying it (fake it if you need to!), then they might want to join in.
  5. Let them hold your wrist while you whisk or flip or stir.
  6. Hold them on your hip at the stove so that they feel like they're a part of the experience.
  7. There will be waste.
  8. Things will get broken.
  9. Fingers will get cut.
  10. Eggs will drop to the floor.
  11. Let go.
  12. Clean up.
  13. Start again.
  14. Play.