It’s National Baking Week – a great excuse to cook up some tasty treats!
If you love to bake and want to share your passion with your family, you might like these tips on how to get your children involved in cooking.
1. Let them choose the recipe
National Baking Week recommends letting kids choose what to cook. Let them look through recipe books to see what cakes take their fancy, you can always swap a couple of ingredients to suit your own taste!
2. Don't stress about the mess!
It’s going to be messy – so remember to go with the flow! It’s less tidy letting kids get involved in baking but try not to let the mess spoil your fun. Baking spills are usually easy to clean up (you can make life easier by letting your child work at your kitchen table covered with your favourite Wipe Easy tablecloth, of course!)
3. Get kids involved in different tasks
BBC Good Food has some great advice on the sort of tasks children can be asked to do at different ages, and suggests ways in which older children can practice maths and science while helping you in the kitchen.
It may be helpful to give your child an extra large mixing bowl to reduce spills and allow double the time you think you’ll need so you don’t have to rush them.
4. Teach them about food sources and safety
Cbeebies suggests ‘while you’re cooking, let your child hold the ingredients, talk about where they came from and discuss how you think the recipe will turn out’. Cooking with your child is also a great opportunity to teach them about kitchen safety – reminding them about hot ovens and hobs and the safe use of knives and cooking utensils.
5. Expand their experience of food
JamieOliver.com says that involving your kids in cooking is a great way to get them to try new foods. “Kids are more likely to taste what they make themselves, out of curiosity if nothing else.”
6. Make it fun
While you want to offer guidance on weighing and measuring to ensure a successful dish, let your child experiment in different ways. For example, BBC Good Food recommends that you “Give them opportunities to let their imagination run wild when it comes to presentation of the final dish.”
7. Find the perfect recipes
It’s important to choose the right recipes to get your kids interested in cooking.
Choose ‘recipes with ‘well-written, easy-to-follow recipes with enough tasks to keep little minds (and hands) busy.’ Jamieoliver.com
The Jamie Oliver website has a great selection of Family recipes to try, and BBC Good Food has some inspiring age appropriate suggestions.
You may also like to watch ‘Should three-year-olds learn to cook’ on Cbeebies which explains why it’s so important to invest time in involving your child in the kitchen and will give you further ideas on the sorts of cooking tasks your child might like to try.