Cooking with children and young people of different ages requires a high degree of patience and perseverance on the part of parents. But it’s worth it! Because if you cook regularly with your children and teenagers, by watching and helping, they learn to do some things independently, step by step – according to the motto: No need to eat on the couch or in front of the TV! Today everyone is in the kitchen! Good preparation and a few tips will help make it fun for everyone!
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Impose Some Cooking Rules (for children)
In order to be able to cook well together, a few rules for the kitchen are important.
- Before you start cooking, everyone must wash their hands properly with soap. Wounds are covered with plaster and, if necessary, a rubber glove. In general, it is important to work hygienically so that the food can be consumed by everyone with an appetite. Especially when processing raw meat and eggs, more attention should be paid to hand washing. Always use cutting boards for either meat or vegetables. In between work steps, clean them properly with detergent before cutting food that is then to be consumed raw.
- Before starting, the tasks are determined by everyone. This prevents siblings from arguing about who is doing what while cooking. If you have to look at two children, it is advisable to work alternately on a recipe. Otherwise, it will be very exhausting for the adult to steer the event on the right track.
- Help the children understand that the pan on the stove, or the empty stovetop where the saucepan was just standing, can be hot. Therefore, the stove should never be used as a shelf or storage space. If there is not enough cupboard space, include the dining table as a work surface.
- Avoid the risk of accidents. Everyone makes sure that there is no risk of slipping, e.g. B. by fallen bowls or pieces of vegetables/fruit. The handles of the pots and pans are also rotated so that nobody can get caught on them and tear them off the cupboard or stove.
- Correct cutting: For cutting, a small board is always placed underneath, which should be as non-slip as possible. If this is not the case, place a damp cloth underneath. Halve round vegetables once and place the flat side on a board so that they cannot roll or wobble. The best way to cut is to use the “claw grip”: To do this, place your fingertips spread out on the vegetables and hold them with your thumb and little finger. Place the knife in front of your knuckles and cut the vegetables. Always “hide” the thumb behind the other fingers so that it does not get a cut.
Let the children and young people help out!
- Children are more likely to try and eat a new dish if they are involved in the preparation. Explain to your child what you are doing and which vegetables you are preparing. Let the vegetables or fruits try it while they are being prepared.
- There are always tasks that children and young people can easily help with: Include your children in the preparation of the dishes. Even small children can help very well if, for example, B. washing potatoes, carrots or kohlrabi or stirring a quark dish.
- Small children can cut soft fruits very well. Use a normal table knife for this. This makes it easy to cut apples, pears, and bananas.
- Slightly older children can be involved in peeling the vegetables. A vegetable peeler is best for this. If the children can handle a knife safely, cutting vegetables is also a nice task for them. Show your child how they can hold the vegetables firmly and how to safely use the knife to cut.
- Young people can already cook light dishes or individual components on their own. You are already capable of handling the oven or the stovetop. They are happy to accept tips and tricks. Write down the recipe of your favorite dish for your teenager. Make sure that you also specify the temperatures for the oven or heat settings for the hob. Be ready in the background for any queries or to be able to prevent errors that lead to the failure of the recipe if necessary.
- Ultimately, the nicely laid table is also part of the meal. Even small children can do this with little support from adults. Young people sometimes enjoy designing and implementing appropriate table decorations or folding napkins.
Practice creates masters!
You need time to introduce your child or young person to cooking. Plan the preparation in your daily routine with sufficient time. Because when you are pressed for time, mishaps often happen that discourage the youngsters and make them lose the desire to cook together.