Friday chat: Cooking with kids

August 7, 2015

cooking with kids

Do you cook with your kids?  There are so many benefits of cooking with kids and involving them in the kitchen.  I am on a mission to involve Anya in the kitchen as much as I can.  Everyday when I cook dinner I get her to join me and help.  I give her tasks like making marinades, peeling garlic, getting all the ingredients together or anything else that doesn’t involve knives or heat.  What I love most about this time is our chats.   We have lots of fun conversations where she tells me stuff about school, about her friends and I’ve found she chats to me much more during our cooking time than if I sat down and asked her lots of questions.  Similarly on weekends, Richard loves cooking and I can see what a great father/daughter bonding time this has become.

how to get kids involved in cooking

So, when Abel & Cole offered to send us their kids Summer boxes, I agreed.  I tend to make more complex food on a regular basis so while I involve Anya, it is me who is very much in charge.  But these boxes contain recipes that are super easy to follow, allowing kids to read the instructions and take the lead.  Most of the recipes have 3-4 ingredients like this vanilla ice cream Anya made – just honey, vanilla pod seeds, cream and egg yolks.  This box also contained ingredients to make a strawberry sauce and banana ice-cream which we will try over the weekend. 

The recipes are very simple and so your kids aren’t likely to make you the most delicious meal you ever ate but what I love about them is that kids around 5 and older can totally be in charge and you are there just as a helper.  We’ve had a few boxes now and Anya is so excited when a new box arrives as she thinks of it as hers and can’t wait to see what she’ll be cooking next.  I also love the convenience of pulling out a box and knowing I have all the ingredients to get started.  Abel & Cole are doing kids boxes throughout the Summer with different recipes each week so if you’re in need of ideas, check it out.  Also it’s a fun way way to keep kids occupied over the Summer holidays.

how to involve kids in everyday cooking

Here are some simple tips to help get kids involved in the kitchen:

1.  Start involving them by making foods they love – maybe baking some cookies or muffins.  One of Anya’s favourite things to make is pizza which would be fun for any kid to be involved in making even for kids as young as 2 or 3.

2.  Go food shopping together and once in a while let them choose what meal they would like to make or if you can, go to a pick your own fruit/veg place and they will be so keen to cook and eat what they’ve picked.

3.  Make a very simple recipe where they can be in charge – this can bring such a sense of pride and achievement as I saw when Anya made this simple ice-cream.  Kids love to help especially with adult tasks as this makes them feel good and appreciated.

4.  Even if you’re making an involved meal, give them small tasks like stirring or measuring ingredients.

5.  Involve the kids in the cooking when you have time.  Everything takes longer with kids so as long as you’re relaxed they’ll enjoy it much more.

Above all make it fun.  Play some music, be silly and if you’re anything like me don’t worry about the mess like I used to – it used to actually put me off cooking with Anya but I’ve learned to put my fear of mess asisde 😉   It takes a few extra minutes to clean up but it’s so worth it.  Do you cook with your kids?

P.S. I moved all my kitchen clutter to one side when I took these pics – my kitchen doesn’t normally look this tidy even though I wish it did! 😀

{All photos by ebabee.  Anya wears frankie fox print shirt from the ebabee shop}

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  • International Elf Service

    I gasped when I saw your pristine and uncluttered worktop and was VERY relieved to hear it was because of the photoshoot! I love cooking with my kids though it’s been very irregular as I’m always racing to get the meal done. I must change that as 1. They need to learn to cook and 2. They love it. Totally agree on the special chat time it gives too.

    • ebabee likes

      Ha, ha – I thought I better explain about the worktop! But it’s also all new and just finished so it looks good – lets see in a few months time 😉 My daughter loves it too and she’s loved being in charge of these recipes by Abel & Cole. Making me inspired to come up with more simple recipes that she can cook with less involvement from me.

  • Honest mum

    I love this so much darling, the concept of kids’ summer boxes, involving kids in cooking, as I do with my own kids and how beautiful Anya looks-oh and your kitchen, the Pj’s-so everything about this post! My boys adore cooking and baking here too and I think letting them be in charge is really important, yes things can get messy but that’s OK. I love that they also grow fruit and veg in the garden and get so excited about picking strawberries and lettuce and using our homegrown ingredients in dishes. I loved this! Going live on Monday with #tastytuesdays as we fly on Tuesday so would love you to link up with this xx

    • ebabee likes

      Thank you lovely. That is the next thing we want to do is grow our own fruit/veg and herbs with Anya. She is a picky eater but involving her in the whole cooking process is helping. Thank you for your lovely words. xx

  • Michelle Reeves (The Essex Barn)

    Phew! So glad your worktops are as messy as ours until camera time – I felt very inadequate haha! Lovely post with lots of good ideas for getting kids in the kitchen and super photos too. X

    • ebabee likes

      Ha, ha – they are! But just had the kitchen and whole place done so all brand new which helps. Thank you for the lovely words – I so enjoy cooking with my little one now that I have overcome that fear of the mess it makes! x

  • thefolia

    Cheers to little chefs-in-the-making! What beautiful, crisp shots of your awesome kitchen & your little chef!

  • Mirka Moore @Kahanka @Fitness4Mamas

    Both my girls love cooking and baking, but I have to admit I cannot stand the mess…. really need to do more with them. It’s easy with Isabelle, but when Olivia is involved…. flour everywhere. Love you kitchen!

    • ebabee likes

      Thank you. I used to be like that – really hated the mess and still don’t love it but I have learned to overlook it. But yes with the really young ones like Olivia it can be quite tricky. 😉

  • Corina

    My oldest daughter is only three at the moment but she loves helping me bake. It’s great to get children involved in cooking early on.

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