Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Getting Started and Growing Kitchen Skills In Children
No matter what it is getting your child helping in the kitchen can be a struggle. Simply start small. It does not matter their age. Having them do one thing that will help make your life easier is worth the struggle. Make it a job that needs to be done and then when the job is done be sure to thank them continuously.
In order to have them be successful make sure that give instructions that are well understand. Stay close and offer supervision when needed. This is both for safety reasons as well as building a bond of cooperation. This will help reduce frustration on both sides and ensure nothing goes wrong. Dont use the time that your child is working in the kitchen to watch your favorite t.v. show or take a shower or spend time alone. It is time to stand side by side with them and get the job done leaving you both feel great.
Have them do real jobs. When helping prepare the meal give them jobs no matter how simple something that needs to be done. Have them help you on a daily basis not only when it helps you. Even on busy nights getting them in the kitchen for even a couple of minutes will help enforce the habit.
Make sure to thank everyone that helped with the meal. Kids love gratitude and it helps their attitude as well. Allow them to share what their part was and how they helped out. Do not criticize a child rather make sure that the smallest job is helped.
If an error is made in cooking do not make a big deal of it or get angry. Rather explain to the young cook how to prevent it in the future. Start it all over if needed. Being negative will only result in them not wanting to help.
As they get older allow them to grow in how they contribute. Growing older should also mean that their skills are growing as well. Dont overwhelm them with new skills to quickly either. Gaining experience is part of the game. As they grow and learn allowing them to try to do things on their own. Baking cookies alone, making pancakes, or cooking an egg will help them grow skills. Eventually allow them to plan and prepare meals where you are the assistant