Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Works for Me: Teaching Kids to Cook

There's no reason even young children can't start learning to cook simple things. When I was pregnant with Sarah, and Elizabeth was 4, I taught her to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches--so that even if I was busy with the new baby, she could make lunch for her and Silas. They have little stools that enable them to get their own drinks and be independent in other ways.

Now she's six and she's learning to cook real food. The other day she made yeast rolls, with some help. Today she made banana nut muffins with my supervision. She's learning fractions, practicing her reading (I made her read the ingredient list herself, with only minor help from me), and learning how to cook all at the same time. If she does this a dozen more times she will pretty well be able to make them alone. I was able to clean the rest of the kitchen while I directed her efforts. It's really nice for us to be able to work like this as a team, even at a young age. I knew how to cook at an earlier age than most. I started really cooking when I was about 13. Now I see that I could have learned even earlier! Don't underestimate your kids--they're capable of more than you think

WFMW hosted by Shannon.


Larae said...

Brilliant idea. Being Italian, I started helping in the kitchen around age 3. I'm so happy I was taught how to cook so I didn't have to struggle with that "new to college/where's mom?!" stage, lol. Great tip! =)

Rebecca said...

I totally agree. Happy bonding!

Windy said...

I love little ones in the kitchen. :) Todd and Hannah love to cook together. He is so patient with her, its just adorable. In fact I will find the pictures and post them, they were baking cookies wearing hard hats, it was sooooo funny!! Sorry to get off track. Great post and I agree 100% with you. It has helped us both out in a pinch of busy and what a sense of accomplishment for her.

Charity Grace said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one! It's such fun to see them learn...Thanks everybody.

Mom2fur said...

It is wonderful to teach children that they can do things for themselves. It gives them a sense of pride. And it helps you, doesn't it? Mine are spaced 2 years apart, with the fourth 3 1/2 years from the third. Needless to say, by the time #4 came around, mommy was pretty busy. It was either learn to do for yourself, or wait for mommy to be done with the baby. Now, 16 years later (mine are 16, 20, 22, and 24) my kids can cook for themselves and have been doing so for many years. Not only that...they do their own laundry! (My oldest took over doing his laundry in his early teens because he didn't want his clothes mingled in with his siblings', LOL!)