Cooking: An Essential Life Skill for Children
Cooking is an essential life skill, and so teaching children how to cook is a huge investment into their future. Don’t worry – you don’t have to be a Masterchef to teach your child how to cook. In this article, we’re going through the basic tips of introducing your child to the kitchen.
Before you get started with any actual cooking or processing, explain to your child the importance of hygiene. When doing so, make sure to mention these tips.
- Stay clean by tying your hair back. After all, you don’t want it to end up in the food!
- Wash your hands with warm soapy water. Do so before cooking, after handling any raw meats or fish, and after finishing up too.
- Taste the food after it cooks, especially if there are any raw animal products (meat, fish, eggs) that have been used.
With that in mind, your young chefs are ready to start!
Different ages require different approaches. After all – cooking is a delicate task. Keep this in mind as you teach your child to cook. If they are under three, keep it simple. Let them wash vegetables and counter tops (although you may need to repeat it after them). Let them sprinkle things in, such as icing, salt or sugar.
Older children can be given utensils to help: mashing, stirring, sieving and mixing. However, stay away from sharp, metal knives. If you give your child a knife, make sure that it is plastic.
Children over the age of eight will be able to become more involved with the process. Let them grow into young chefs by letting them use knives and graters with care – however, watch them as they do so as cut fingers happen even with adults.
Your child’s interests will likely dictate exactly which recipes they will assist you with, but consider these as starters.
- Making a sandwich. Introduce your child to utensils and let them make a sandwich for themselves. This will come in handy if they need to make a quick lunch without you.
- This one is a family favourite! Baking is perfect for all ages, and is also a great opportunity to introduce your child to healthy eating and eating in moderation. Teach them about how much sugar is really needed in baked goods.
Introduce your child to healthy eating, and encourage their involvement in it. Let them design a salad, and then let them pick a dessert. It’s especially important to encourage eating in moderation – because life really is sweeter with a little bit of sugar.
Early Learning Schools
Cooking is just one of the many skills that children can learn at early learning schools. At Hamersley Early Learning School, we understand the importance of learning, and encourage it with nurturing, warmth and care. For more information on us, and the programs we offer, call us on (08) 6162 9119 or visit our contact page for other ways to get in touch.