Do you have a memory of cooking with your parents and siblings as a child?
Many of us don’t, to be honest. Although there are folks who like having little helpers in the kitchen, some mothers prefer to have kids play in the living room while they prepare the meals in peace.
At first, I was more like the latter. Call it overthinking, yet I felt scared by the thought of letting my babies enter a room full of knives, heavy pans, and heating appliances. Luckily, my husband talked me out of that anxiety and said it’ll be a great bonding experience for all us. And, mama, it is.
But before you haul your entire family into the cooking area, take note of the following things.
- Create A Realistic Plan
Your initial agenda is to plot how the kitchen situation will be with your brood in it. Once everyone agrees on what kind of food you will make together, you should then assign their workstations.
What’s important is not to get swayed by a child’s enthusiasm, to the extent that he or she wants to volunteer for each task you mention. Think of their age, height, and clumsiness level, if you must, so that you won’t end up getting your meal ready alone or with only your husband.
- Educate Kids About Sanitation
From the moment the rest of your family goes inside the cooking area, they should already be aware of food hygiene. Put them in clean clothes, tie the girls’ hair back, and prepare an apron, for starters. After that, teach them to wash their hands thoroughly, especially in case they’ll touch meat. Not only will you avoid contamination; the children will also remember the proper way of handling raw ingredients.
- Assume There Will Be Clutter – A Lot Of It
It is futile to expect your kids, or any child for that matter, to behave like a grownup and not mess around as you make a meal together. In fact, even teenagers and adults who ideally have their mind-and-body coordination mastered can still spill condiments or drop a vegetable, considering they’re not familiar with being in the kitchen. Despite that, how will they learn if you kick them out the first time? Hence, remind yourself that you can all clean up the clutter later.
- Let Them Know Who’s The Boss
Children may perform better when they comprehend that tomfoolery isn’t acceptable in that part of the house and that you are watching their moves. It won’t hurt to go as far as saying that you’re the head chef in that kitchen, and their job is to follow your orders. Perhaps have everyone work in front of each other too so that you’ll see everything.
- Don’t Allow The Children To Lose Interest
Kids have a short span of attention, as we already know. If they have a quick task or it’s taking too long, they tend to slack off and not finish what they started. To avert that from happening, you need to think ahead of other things they can do, e.g., throwing the trash outside, washing utensils, or watching the pot as food simmers in it.