Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cooking With Your Kids.

Via Parentree and Dogonews

I'm hungry. Despite the biscuits someone brought to office, I can't wait for the others in my office to listen to my pleas to please lets go eat, as I slowly succumb to my hunger pangs. Everyone else, as it happens, seems to have eaten a late breakfast and no ones hungry yet. To distract myself, I decided to write this blog post about cooking with children. After all, education is not just about reading, writing and arithmetic, is it?  

Cooking, according to Parentree, is one of the easiest activities parents can do with kids, given that every home has a kitchen. The manner in which children are introduced to cooking can alter the way they look at food as well. This could resolve eating habits, especially with younger kids. 
"Cooking can be a great way to educate kids on the nutritional value of food, learn important life skills like patience and team work, books self-confidence, inculcate appreciation for other peoples efforts, foster experimentation and creativity." 
 Of course, presenting their own culinary concoction on the table at the dining table at the end of the day, and watching others enjoy it, is a reward in itself.

Here are some tips you can try in the kitchen: 

Hygiene is of utmost importance. Remember to begin by washing hands. If you wear an apron and a chef’s hat, it would not only make the activity more dramatic but also give you an opportunity to explain the logic behind the uniform code. Tie up your daughter’s hair in a scrunchy as you explain to her how a hat prevents hair falling into the food being cooked.

Prepare thoroughly by putting out all the ingredients at the counter or the table. Explain how it is a good idea to plan ahead so that you don’t run helter- skelter looking for something when it is required to be put into a dish urgently.

Use the opportunity to teach children how to read a recipe, if you are yourself referring to a recipe book,  But in case you are cooking a dish whose recipe you know well, write down the ingredients on a sheet of paper and go over it with your child. Evolve your own unique method of checking.

Depending on the child’s age and motor skills give some task exclusively to the child. For eg. you can give the measuring cup to the child and let her sit with the jar of flour and carefully measure out the required amount into the smaller dish as you complete some other task. This gives the child a certain amount of freedom and responsibility while you are still around to make sure nothing goes wrong. You can also get them to shell peas, wash the vegetables or maybe even grate carrots, depending on how old your child is. 

Remember, cleaning up is as important a part of cooking, as preparing is. Do not make it look like or feel like a chore. As your dish is cooking away in the oven, begin the clearing and cleaning activity with the kid being as much a part of it as earlier. Treat this aspect with as much respect and reverence. The child can help you put back the jars where they belong or wipe dry the whisker after you soaped and rinsed it. In case your child’s interest begins to wane, use motivational techniques to bring him/her back into the activity. 

Here is a very simple recipe that you and your kids will be sure to enjoy! 


For more Cooking With Miranda videos and recipes, click here


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