As your child grows up I think the question for most parents is when is a good time to start cooking with your child?
My personal view is the earlier the better! Cooking is such an important life skill for children to learn here are just a few reasons why:
It develops hand eye co-ordination
Develops early math & literacy skills
Encourages them to explore new tastes & textures
Develops their imagination and creativity
Encourages their independence
Once your child is sitting and can feed themselves there is no reason not to introduce them to cooking. There are some things that they won't be able to do until they are older and they will need constant supervision and some help, but there is plenty that they can do, for example;
They can help you weigh out the ingredients
They can help with mixing
They can help to decorate, this really lets them release their imagination and when decorating a cake or pizza!
To start with make simple recipes with them, cupcakes, muffins, bread, pizza and scones. These don't have to be unhealthy or loaded with sugar! Did you know that you can reduce most of the sugar in recipes by 10% without it effecting the bake or the taste! Use fruit and vegetables in your bakes to encourage your child to explore healthy ingredients in a fun way!
While you are cooking remember to:
Talk about the ingredients
Talk through each step
Make sure you tell them the dangers of the oven, for example its hot, only mummy or daddy uses the oven
Keep any sharp knives or scissors away from them
Preparation is the key, have all the ingredients out ready
Let them sit at the kitchen table to do it so they can reach the bowl
If you are using butter, I recommend you leave it out for at least 30 minutes before you bake so its easier for them to mix!
While your recipe is baking, encourage them to help tidy up and wash the pots!
As they become more confident and older you can gradually give them more things to do, they will be able to crack the egg on their own and mix the ingredients themselves.
I have included a favourite recipe of mine for you to try, it is perfect for little hands!
Happy Baking, Ruth xx
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We also run Cookery Clubs in the Derbyshire area, so if you are local and don't feel brave enough to go it alone then why not join us on one of our clubs!
Next week I will be blogging about cooking with older children..