How can we make family cooking a shared pleasure?
Cooking is an activity that occupies a good place in family life. While it is sometimes difficult to free up time during the week, it is easier to do it on weekends. Children always enjoy cooking with mom and dad. They can fully participate in the preparation of the meal. To keep family cooking fun, allow your kids to prick a slice of cheese, a piece of butter or lick the rest of the cake dough at the bottom of the dish!
You can also offer him his own things: a kitchen apron at his size, a chef’s hat, a knife with a round tip…
Above all, maintain a caring and positive attitude: it is not dramatic if
- your child stains his clothes,
- spills milk or flour,
- he smears his chocolate face.
Cooking can also be a fun activity when the babysitter is there. What could be more fun than making a delicious chocolate cake? The babysitter will be able to supervise and help the children to prepare their own snacks. In Paris, there are hundreds of young girls registered on Bsit who will be happy to babysit your children at your next outing.
Instead, teach him to clean stains, put on his apron as soon as he cooks, put his dirty clothes in the basket of dirty laundry, wash his face by himself.
We can never repeat it enough: a little mistake can be fixed and we must trust our children to experiment and learn from their mistakes!
What are the advantages of family cooking?
- This encourages your child to participate in household tasks and helps to present these tasks in a non-binding way.
- Your child will be able to touch, taste and handle food to see how to move from carrots bought at the market or supermarket to grated carrots on his plate. This will reduce the risk of food rejection.
- You will make it easier for your child to taste the dishes because he or she will have seen the ingredients inside: no surprise for him or her!
- The child will feel proud of having helped you, of having been important in the preparation of the meal and you can value him/her for his/her participation with guests for example.
- You will teach your child the health and safety rules concerning gas, fire and oven and thus contribute to the prevention of domestic accidents.
- Finally, you will make your child think, you will put him in a situation of intellectual activity: name the ingredients, the utensils, announce his actions, measure the flour or liquids, handle the centilitres or grams, convert quantities, count the number of spoons or pinches of salt… all this will contribute to his intellectual development.
Adapt each activity to your child’s age:
- At 4 years old, he or she can help you make the béchamel sauce, he or she pours the flour and milk but it is you who stirs. Take this opportunity to tell him never to touch a pan on the fire or coming out of the fire. Also ask him or her to pass you the whip or balance, so that he or she knows the word for each utensil.
- If your child loves to come and steal the slices of raw carrots when you make gingham carrots, now is the time to tell him never to put his hands on the cutting board and explain why it’s dangerous.
- If your child likes to assist you when you test baking a cake with the knife blade, remind him/her to stay away and never touch the oven door when it is in operation. It is also an opportunity to explain to him what the potholders are used for, for example.
What to do in case of inspiration failure?
Every opportunity to spend some pleasant time together is good… so get to your stoves! And if you are short of inspiration, there are books dedicated to family cooking and blogs. Search the net for inspiration!