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Cooking with Kids - How to Cook with and Teach Kids to Cook

Created May 19, 2021
PB_How-to-plan-food-activities-with kids_Article_HERO
There's something special about cooking with kids. Turn on a great playlist, tuck the phones away, and spend quality time with each other while putting delicious food on the table. Share special moments as a family and include your children in the cooking process with these tips and tricks.

Fun Things to Cook with Kids

When it comes to what to make, there are plenty of options to choose from. If your kids love pizza, try your hand at these Pepperoni Pizza Crescent Rolls for a delicious dinner or an easy snack. This popular recipe is a fan favorite, and it's a breeze to prep. You could also spend a Sunday baking with your littles for a fun and cozy morning at home. This Giant Cinnamon Roll comes together in four super simple steps, or you can whip up this Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Loaf for a recipe the entire family can help prep in 20 minutes.

How to Cook with Kids

When cooking with your little ones, start by having them combine ingredients. Your sous chefs may enjoy pouring and mixing. Pre-measure the accurate amounts or have them lend a hand in the measuring, too. Your older kids can whisk ingredients together with little mess, or they can operate a hand mixer if you've got one in your kitchen.

When figuring out how to include each of your kids in the process, think about what your children like to do. If you have a child who loves to push buttons or set timers, put them in charge of those tasks in the kitchen. If one of your little chefs loves to read, ask them to be in charge of reading the recipes and making sure all of the steps are complete. This could be a great exercise for building confidence and leadership skills.

No matter what you're making, kids of all ages can help style and decorate the food. Whether it's adding sprinkles to cookies or cheese to a pizza, there's a job for nearly every member of the family.

Teaching Kids How to Cook Without the Mess

When you think about how to teach kids to cook, your mind might instantly go to the mess. Kids helping in the kitchen often means more opportunities for drips and major spills. To help prevent total chaos and minimize the clean-up time, we have a few tips for curbing the mess.

With kids in the kitchen, it's best to establish a kid zone. You can contain the messy by designating a corner of the kitchen where the kids can work. Have your little chefs work from a table, an island, or on stools near the counter. Then, consider what they will be helping with and how you can prepare for the mess. For example, if you're handling something ultra-spillable, like sprinkles, place the food on a large cookie sheet so that the excess is easily caught. If you're working with an extra messy recipe, opt to use a wipable splat mat or an easily washable tarp to protect countertops and flooring.

Another expert tip? Dress your kiddos in clothes you can quickly drop in the washing machine, or some painter's clothes that can catch icing, sauce, oil, and batter without the stress. Aprons are another great option if you have them, and it's a bonus that this accessory makes the kids feel like real bakers and chefs!

There are a lot of easy things to cook with kids, and no matter what recipe you choose, making meals as a family can be a memorable adventure. Be sure to prepare with easy dishes that your little ones can understand, and focus on the fun aspects of cooking. Making dinner can now be both a fun family time activity and a way to teach important kitchen skills.