This post is sponsored by Ben’s Beginners, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Eating is a part of life. It is something we have to do to survive. Cooking and preparing the food we eat is a large part of that. Therefore, cooking is one of the most useful and valuable skills that you can teach your children.
The ability to cook even simple, basic things will last them a lifetime. It will start them on a life of healthier eating. Not only is it healthier. It is less expensive and will save them so much money over the course of their life. Every meal cooked at home from scratch is one less meal eaten out or prepared from a box.
Even a meal of scrambled eggs is far cheaper and far healthier than most meals that people eat today. Teaching children simple skills like how to cook an egg, how to brown ground beef, how to cook rice, and how to read a recipe, will give them the skills they need for life.
Cooking with your kids not only gives them life long skills, it will also create some wonderful memories. I have some great memories of spending time with my mom, my sisters, and friends in the kitchen. Some of my favorite stories to share of my childhood involve food. And I am trying pass this on to my children by spending time in the kitchen with them. Not just to teach them skills, but to create memories and have fun together.
My kids are now 12, 14, and 16. We have moved beyond the toddler and young childhood years. They are now cooking on their own. Both my girls can easily cook breakfast, lunch, or dinner if needed. My 12 and 16 year old recently spent a whole afternoon working on cupcakes together. And my 12 and 14 year old made a delicious gluten free chocolate raspberry cake a few weeks ago. All without help from me.
My kids cooking on their own though did not just happen overnight. It has taken years of involving them in the kitchen. When they were toddlers I would let them stir a batter or dough. I would let them help measure and scoop flour. As they grew older and their skill and confidence levels grew, I started teaching them more and more. But we did not start with whole meals and recipes. I would teach them how to cook rice and brown ground beef and then slowly we would work into cooking a whole recipe or meal.
I will admit there were times that I wondered if it was all worth it. Those times when the messes were huge and the help did not seem like help at all. There were frustrating times and a few disasters, but when they baked that first cookie all on their own or made a complete dinner without any help, I began to realize that it was so worth it. Those years of teaching paid off and made those messes and frustrations seem not all that big and time consuming anymore.
Spending time in the kitchen with your kids is something you will not regret. It is well worth the time and effort.
Because I believe teaching your kids to cook is so important I want to share a six simple tips that I have used in teaching my kids to cook. And for more recipes, tips, ideas, and a great contest for cooking with kids, be sure to check out Ben’s Beginners.
- Make the kitchen kid friendly- Keep on hand a few plastic bowls, spoons, measuring cups, etc. that are easier for kids to use. This is especially important when working with young kids.
- Involve kids in the process- Let kids help pick out the recipe or ingredients you are cooking with. Kids are more likely to eat something they picked out and help create. Involve them in the process and they will become more and more adventurous in their cooking and eating.
- Make it fun- Try to relax and have fun when cooking with your kids. Don’t start with the 6:00 dinner rush when teaching your kids to cook. Pick a time when you can relax and have fun together. Make cookies, cupcakes, or a simple lunch together. Make it fun and it will be fun and not a chore for them.
- Make a cookbook for them- As your kids experiment and try new recipes print them out or write them down and put them together in a notebook. This will help your kids feel like they are accomplishing a lot as they look back at all the foods they have made. It will also give them a great source of recipes to keep making on their own as they grow older and leave home.
- Teach them the basics- One of the most important things you can do when teaching your kids to cook is to teach them the basics. Things like how to cook an egg. How to brown meat. How to cook rice. Basic skills like meat safety and using knives is also important as they get older. Teaching them the basics will give them the skills to branch out and try all kinds of recipes and foods.
- Start with simple recipes- Start with simple recipes and work your way up to more complicated things. Muffins, cupcakes, cookies, baked oatmeal, and tacos are all good recipes to start with. Then move on to harder more complicated recipes and meals.
Cooking with your children makes for a great beginning! Visit
www.unclebens.com and click on The Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest page to learn more!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Uncle Ben’s. The opinions and text are all mine.