Whether you want to teach a middle schooler or toddler some kitchen skills, starting small is always essential. This guide is just the perfect know-it-all to help you get started. Before long, you'll be enjoying the savory dish your little budding chef serves you.
Teaching your child to cook is much more than a cooking class. It's connectedness. You're actually strengthening your bond with the child. Plus, as the kid learns more about food and diverse choices, they'll also be in a better position to make healthier food choices.
We've compiled some expert tips for parents of all budding little chefs. These can be taken as some general principles before you pat your kid on the way to the kitchen door.
Prepare Yourself To Be A Cooking Coach
Your job here is not of a teacher. It's vital that you realize that you would be doing more of a coaching task here. You want to have the kid in the right mindset before they put on their apron for some kitchen adventure. Plus, you won't be handing them the culinary or utensils in the kitchen.
The kids need to be able to perform the job on their own. That's the only way they learn. Let them act on their own. You need to have confidence in the child's ability to work in the kitchen. Before you start, you want to be sure that you will only be working as a coach.
Be Super Explicit About Instructions
You need to be super explicit when conveying these instructions. The kids in your kitchen they're not at your level or even at the junior level. They need to be reminded of the essentials of kitchen hygiene.
Plus, you want them to have all the safety protocols memorized carefully before operating ovens, sandwich makers, and more. Kids are likely to make blunders. So, it's important to break the guide into easily digestible small instructions.
According to Dorothy Champagne, Co-founder of Catering with Champagne, "Make sure to be precise. You don't want the kid to have an information overload. That would only put them away from entering the kitchen."
They'll hesitate more and feel less confident about working in the kitchen. You don't want to ruin their day. So, be friendly, but carry out the instructions clearly and explicitly.
Teach Meal Prep And Cooking Separately
Meal preparation and cooking are two entirely different skills. While cooking is the ground knowledge, meal preparation will always require a combination of basic cooking skills to nail the job. So, to avoid kitchen disasters, you want to make sure that you divide the two learning sessions separately.
According to Dorothy Champagne, Co-founder of Catering with Champagne, "Often meal preparing would suit you during dinner times. But teaching your kid to cook is not a call for any time of the day. Expert kitchen coaches suggest reserving the weekend to help your kid hone some cooking skills. Meanwhile, you can always ask your child to lend a hand or two to you in the kitchen for daily meal preparation."
It is so because if you have the kids (alone) in the kitchen just before dinner, you're welcoming disaster or anguish from family members, waiting with an empty plate and fork, and tied napkin around their necks, hoping that a savory dish would be served to them.
The ending might not be so pleasing for you or any other person. So, it's best to give leeway to kids in the kitchen over the weekend. That would be enough time for them to learn and hone their cooking skills, before they cook something surprisingly delicious leaving you and your older kids in awe.
Let The Kids Have Their Share of Fun
Kitchen disasters are really common. Dorothy Champagne, Co-founder of Catering with Champagne, says, "Let kids have their share of fun. Yes, they would make mistakes. Your job as a parent should be to let them enjoy and correct their mistakes. Don't be too hard on them. Let them experiment. That's where the originality and creativity of your kid would flow."
In case you realize that the kid may be compromising their safety, you must intervene to prevent the disaster from happening. For instance, if your kid has got the wrong grip on the knife, it's best to stop them before they cut themselves and scream in agony. You don't want a crying kid in your kitchen. Nobody wants that. It's seriously annoying.