It’s time to teach your kids how to cook

tfitzpatrick//April 16, 2020

It’s time to teach your kids how to cook

tfitzpatrick//April 16, 2020

Odds are, you’re spending more time in the kitchen lately. If you have children, this can be an ideal time to teach them a valuable skill that will stay with them for the rest of their lives: cooking. Here are some ideas and tips Toronto dietitian Leslie Beck recommends in The Globe and Mail.

When introducing your kids to the world of cooking, try tailoring kitchen tasks to their abilities and age. Be sure to supervise.

“Activities that may tweak a preschooler’s (3- to 5-year-olds) interest in cooking include helping washing fruits and vegetables in the sink, tearing lettuce for salad, kneading dough, stirring muffin or pancake batters, and adding toppings to a pizza,” writes Beck.

Tasks more suitable for older kids include beating eggs, mashing potatoes, juicing lemons, slicing soft foods with a butter or plastic knife, and measuring ingredients.

If you have 8- to 10-year-olds, teach them how to plan a meal for the whole family, by having them follow an easy recipe or help come up with a grocery list. “Recipes for smoothies, yogurt parfaits, trail mix, guacamole, quesadillas, tortilla wraps and green salads with dressing are good places to start,” recommends Beck.

Kids ages 10 to 12 (or those able to follow kitchen safety rules) may be able to tackle more complicated recipes. Beck suggests pasta and tomato sauce, chili, tacos, meatballs, turkey meatloaf, omelets, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, and whole-grain bowls.

“Getting children involved in kitchen activities may require patience as they learn,” concludes Beck. “That’s why it’s helpful to have some extra time at home.”

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