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Children gain knowledge and understanding of food by being involved in its preparation and cooking. They are much more likely to try new foods if they have been involved in the preparation.
Here are some tasks your child can do to help when cooking:
- Washing vegetables and fruits
- Mixing or stirring liquids, batter, other cold ingredients in a bowl
- Mashing soft fruits and vegetables
- Cutting soft foods such as kiwifruit, bananas, avocado or mushrooms (use a butter knife)
- Breaking eggs
- Sifting dry ingredients such as flour
- Measuring and weighing ingredients
- Peeling and grating vegetables or fruits
Why teach kids to cook?
Learning how to cook is, without a doubt, one of the most important life skills you can learn. Getting kids involved in the kitchen helps them to learn about different ingredients, gain confidence and be more receptive to trying new foods and flavours. Learning to cook helps to boost self-esteem, independence and connectedness within families
Parents, siblings, grandparents and whānau can all help teach kids to cook. Grandparents are particularly important as they have often learnt how to cook from scratch without relying on instant meals, takeaways, fancy equipment or ingredients. When given the opportunity, many grandparents will happily share their wisdom around growing their own vegetables, baking their own bread or cooking a family favourite.
Cooking activities for kids
There are lots of simple cooking activities that kids of all ages can do over the school holidays. We’ve chosen four ideas to help them learn some basic skills while most importantly having fun.
You can start involving your kids from an early age. Start with basic tasks and as your child’s skills and confidence increase, progress to more complicated jobs. Try to be patient and encouraging, it’s likely there'll be a bit of mess along the way, so make sure your budding chefs know the importance of helping to clean up too!
Information from https://www.heartfoundation.org.nz/about-us/news/blogs/get-kids-cooking-these-holidays
For more information
Kids in the Kitchen recipe book
Vegetable skill cards to help them learn basic preparation and cooking skills
Recipe videos which will get kids excited about cooking