Children are notoriously picky eaters so finding something they’ll eat can often be difficult. Many recipes for kids help you prepare meals that your little ones are more likely to eat. These recipes usually include kid-friendly ingredients that are fast and easy to make. The benefits of these recipes, however, go way beyond getting them to eat. Cooking with your children helps them learn many important skills, encourages more adventurous eating, and allows you a new and fun way to bond with one another. Another perk is that eating what they cook often means that kids are increasing their overall nutrient intake.
Finding recipes for kids
Finding recipes for kids doesn’t have to be hard. Many cookbooks are geared for the younger crowd and are available at your local library or a book store. Another easy way to find recipes your kids might eat is to surf the web. Many recipe databases are available online that allow you to search for specific recipes, both by age group and ingredients you have on hand. When you find a recipe you like, bookmark it on your desktop or with a piece of paper in the cookbook. If you’re borrowing the book, make a copy of the recipe and place it in a folder or notebook. Start with easy recipes that your entire family likes, so your child feels successful and wants to keep cooking.
When you choose recipes for kids, take into account their personal preferences. It’s true that having a hand in the cooking process often encourages kids to try foods they would otherwise turn their noses up at, but this probably won’t happen overnight. Start with recipes that include foods your child already likes to get him excited about learning to cook. As he gets comfortable with the process and enjoys his recipes, try new ingredients.
Benefits of including your kids in the kitchen
There are many benefits of including your kids in the kitchen. Yes they might be more willing to put new and different ingredients into their mouths, but they are learning too. Measuring ingredients, following directions, timing the process, and reading a recipe helps kids learn to do things in order, enhances early math and science skills, and increases vocabulary and comprehension. Help your child match your measuring cups and spoons with the increments in the recipe and allow them to measure out the ingredients. Let them stir and mix, sample the dish, and watch the clock as the dish cooks.
Some safety precautions are important when you bring your kids into the kitchen. Keep them away from hot pots and pans and don’t let them put things into or take things out of the oven. Never let small children use knives or other sharp cooking instruments. When possible, let your child cook with plastic utensils and bowls, which keeps both kids and dishes safe. And always have fun cooking and trying new meals.