Many parents think that children are nothing but trouble in the kitchen. All they know how to do is topple, spill and break things. In fact, it is not difficult to involve the child in cooking – on the contrary, it is easy and straightforward. In principle, you can start when the future cook is two years old. Where do you start?
First, you have to put on a real chef’s apron – a small one, but a real one. Then you have to prepare his workplace: set a personal pedestal (such as a low sturdy stool) in front of the sink or work surface. And prepare yourself, because not everything is going to work out for sure. Are you ready? Well, here we go! Today, your little one is going to be a chef!
What can he do?
1. Knead dough for pancakes. Teach your child a simple 1+1+1 recipe. This means 1 cup flour + 1 cup milk + 1 egg. Put all these ingredients in a large bowl, use a whisk and in five minutes the perfect pancake batter is ready! Important: Children don’t know how to sift the flour and beat the eggs properly, so do it yourself. Otherwise the whole kitchen will be white.
2. Wash the vegetables and put them in a bowl. The process is simple, safe but obviously necessary. It promotes cleanliness and an understanding of the importance of hygiene.
3. Stir the sauce with a spoon during the cooking process. Don’t worry, it won’t spill anything on itself. And, as a rule, the sauce has the perfect consistency because no one stirs it as thoughtfully as a child. Important: The spoon should be large and wooden and the pan should be heavy and deep. For greater safety you can put gloves on the hands of a small person. Then it will be just like a real cook.
4. Make something out of cookie dough. You can cut biscuits from it or make some cakes – with sultanas or nuts or pieces of chocolate.
5. Pour water. From one container to another. Make, for example, homemade lemonade – scatter slices of lemon in bottles, add sugar, and then give your baby a mug and funnel. Let him slowly pour water from the big pot into the bottle. You can also pour cereal or pasta from packets into jars. Or play Cinderella – shred buckwheat or separate the dry red beans from the white beans. It is very useful to develop fine motor skills.
6. To choose lids of different diameters for jars. It is a very developing activity. Kids can do it for hours if only there are enough jars and lids.
7. Spoon the filling – on dumplings, on pies and on whatever you want. Practice shows that you can never have too much stuffing (but supervision is necessary, of course).
Older children may be interested in more elaborate cooking experiments. Try boiling a small pot of tangerine jam together. Or beat with a mixer egg whites with sugar – you get meringue mass, which can be put with a spoon on a paper-lined baking tray and put the tray in a warm oven. When the child returns from the walk, fresh meringue cakes are waiting for them. The sweet tooth (and all children have a sweet tooth) will appreciate it.