SCHOOL HOLIDAYS MAY BE ALMOST OVER BUT CAN YOU REALLY TELL THESE DAYS, WITH MANY OF OUR LITTLE ONES HOME-SCHOOLING THROUGH LOCKDOWN? WE HAVE A GREAT IDEA THAT WILL KEEP THOSE KIDS ENTERTAINED, EDUCATED AND OF COURSE, WELL-FED!
Learning to cook is one of the most important, lifelong skills for nurturing your child’s independence and creativity. Cooking is a great way to introduce a wider variety of ingredients and cuisines into your kids’ lives as well and if you’ve ever struggled to get the kids to eat healthy, nutritious meals, know that they’re much more likely to eat something they helped to prepare!
Let’s start with hygiene and safety! No matter how old your child is and what they’re ready to learn in the kitchen, it’s important to start with a few ground rules. Teach them about washing their hands before any food preparation and of course, after handling meat. Another handy rule is no running or jumping in the kitchen since there can be dangerous things like heat and knives. Learning to focus on the task at hand is another great exercise for their developing brain.
It’s essential to give your kids suitable and age-appropriate tasks, for example, maybe don’t set your three-year-old up on wok duty! For the more intricate methods of cooking and food preparation, it’s usually best to start to teach kids at around 6 or 7 years old, however, there are things that even the tiny toddlers can help with like washing vegetables, stirring sauces or mashing potatoes. Giving your child age-appropriate tasks will help cooking be fun and approachable for them! Keep in mind that every child is different so ‘age appropriate’ can mean different things depending on your child’s interests, abilities, coordination and strength. As your kids get older and more capable, you can introduce things like chopping and food prep, but it’s best to start with softer ingredients, so they can practice with a butter knife. Teaching kids to weigh and measure is another great practice at home as they get to see a real-life application of the things they are learning at school.
While we can sometimes underestimate the abilities of our kids, don’t forget to accept there will be a mess! This is why it’s important to make this time a peaceful time for yourself. Using a few hours on the weekend, when you’ve had some space from a week of work will give you the patience you need to enjoy passing on your years of wisdom to your most precious people. Don’t forget, even though it may take some time to get the kids to be as much of a wiz in the kitchen as you are, you’ll save yourself time in the long run and get to proudly send your offspring into the world, knowing they can fend for themselves!
LET THEM CHOOSE!
To get the kids on board and excited about learning to cook, make sure they get to choose what they’re cooking. Now, of course, this would probably just lead to hot chips and chocolate ice cream for dinner, so we suggest giving them a range of recipes to choose from, to make sure they’re still getting a healthy and balanced meal. To keep things simple, start with less time-consuming recipes, or even just ask for a hand here and there with certain aspects of cooking a meal. Once you think your child is ready to really get stuck in, choose recipes that are typically fun and hands-on to create, like a rice paper roll! It’s also great to know that young, developing minds, respond well to many bright colours too because, you know what that means - fresh, varied veggies!
We’ve chosen a few of our favourite recipes to get you started, let’s see what the kids think!
PORTOBELLO HOISIN MAYONNAISE SANDWISH
A few of the easier tasks that are suitable for younger kids in this dish are mixing the ingredients in a bowl, placing them onto the bread and drizzling sauce all over these tasty morsels.
Staring our sauces: Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce
CRISPY VEGETABLE CAKES WITH SWEET AND SOUR DIPPING SAUCE
We know our Vegetable cakes are a crowd favourite so it should be no trouble seeing if the kids want to help out with this one! The most fun part is the very start of this dish, where the kids can mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and help you form the veggie patties, just make sure you help them out when it comes to frying time until they get a little older!
Staring our sauces: Lee Kum Kee Sweet & Sour Sauce
CHAR SIU CHICKEN AND THREE CHEESE PARCELS
Cooking with different textures, from marinades to pastry, is another exciting part for the kids! With this recipe, there are heaps of different tasks you can give the youngsters, again depending on their age and abilities. If they’re super small, set them aside to mix the marinade, for a few more challenges, they can help fill the pastries! If you can make sure to take your time with them and remember there WILL be a mess, we can guarantee you a delicious meal and many memorable moments.
Staring our sauces: Lee Kum Kee Premium Soy Sauce, Lee Kum Kee Char Siu Sauce
Find more mouth-watering recipes from LKKRight Here!