According to a report by the Minneapolis Heart Institute, children are more likely to choose healthy foods when they’re involved in the cooking process. By getting children interested in cooking, the results also found they were more likely to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Despite the growing number of positives to cooking with your children, it seems that not everybody is getting involved. Another survey, this time from HelloFresh, found that one in five children were having ready meals and takeaways for dinner three times a week instead of a home-cooked meal.
Besides a healthy balanced diet, cooking your own meals and getting children involved can be a great opportunity to let your imagination run free - which is perfect for children of any age.
Here at Britannia Living we believe that knowing how to cook is one of the greatest skills anyone could have ― whether it’s the basics like beans on toast or something complex such as Haggis.
If you’re looking for some great ways to inspire children of any age to get interested in cooking, then you’ve come to the right place.
Go through the recipe book
One of the great things about cooking is that you can put your own spin on pretty much any recipe out there. Everyone has their own tradition. For example, everybody makes a Lancashire Hotpot differently. Passing on family recipes and techniques from generation to generation is part of honouring your heritage and can be another great way for families to bond together.
Ask family members for their source of inspiration, as children might prefer to attempt their own take on Grandma’s apple pie. You never know, they may even be able to find out some of her culinary secrets!
Find out what they want
If you want your children to get properly invested in cooking, why not start by asking what they want to eat or letting them pick what they want to cook. You can then make sure you incorporate their own suggestions into a healthy meal.
Come up with a weekly planner together for meals. This way you can both make sure there’s something for everyone to enjoy. It’s perhaps not a wise decision to let toddlers decide on everything you cook, however it’s a good way of letting them feel part of the process.
If you have older children, why not encourage them to prepare a meal on their own? Having full reign in the kitchen to come up with whatever they want will not only help to boost their independence but will also give you one less meal to think about!
Possibly one of the most important parts to cooking is preparing the ingredients and making sure you have everything needed for the recipe. Younger children love exploring, so write down a list of things they can find and let them go on a treasure hunt to fetch the items needed.
Depending on the age of your children, you can also let them get involved in the preparing. Younger children will be able to scrub potatoes, wash fruit or even cut out circles in pastry whilst older children can use the stove or oven and handle knives and other tools.
Once you’ve got your ingredients all ready and prepared, it’s time to measure them out and this can be a great way to get young children involved. Little ones will love to pour out, check measurements and level out ingredients. It can also be a great way of sneaking in a little bit of maths and conversions at the same time too, but don’t tell them that!
Setting the table
Part of the fun of cooking is getting together as a family to enjoy what you’ve just made. Whilst the food is cooking, you could invite your children to set the table.
They can set out placemats, the silverware and decide on what plates or glasses are to be used. They also get to choose the seating order, so can pick who gets the prized seat next to the chef. Older children are all about being independent, so this can be a great way of give them that sense of freedom.
Nobody wants to cook in an untidy kitchen, so having a clean environment will always help to encourage further cooking sessions. Get the brushes and brooms out and fill up the dishwasher. By cleaning up together, you can teach your children about the importance of tidying up after yourself.
Cleaning up isn’t necessarily the most fun of tasks, however it’s got to be done. Work together to clean up and get the kitchen back to being clutter free. You will get your kitchen tidied up much quicker and you can use the time to talk to each other.
Getting involved in cooking
According to Dr Mark Hyman, an American physician and medical director, only 2 percent of meals were eaten outside the home in 1900. Nowadays, that figure reaches past 50 percent. It’s time to bring the joy of cooking back to the home and Britannia Living is here to make that happen.
Cooking with the family can be the perfect pastime, so get the whole family involved and make something together that you can all be proud of and enjoy.
Do you think our suggestions will get your children interested in cooking? If you have some tips that work for you, be sure to let us know. We’d love to hear your very own ideas on our Twitter or Facebook pages.