Last week, I wrote about doing learning gifts for Christmas. One of the learning gifts my kids are getting this year is their own cookbook with a plan for learning some cooking basics and some of their favorite recipes. It’s a simple gift to put together: just a binder, some page protectors to store future recipes, and 3 pages printed on cardstock so they’ll hold up better — you’ll need: a cover page, lists of basics skills/recipes, favorite recipe list. (Create your own, or get my free printables below.) And along with the Cookbook for each child, I’m going to give them one of the boxes/mixes listed on the basics list so they can start learning right away.
But this can be done anytime, not just as a gift. Anytime you decide you want to help your kids learn how to cook, this is a great way to get started! My favorite tips for helping your kids learn how to cook:
- Work with them one on one. Nothing drives me crazier than 5 kids in the kitchen all at once and having to find something for each of them to do.
- Don’t teach cooking skills in a time crunch. I assign each kid a day of the week to cook with me during the summer when our time is a little bit more flexible. During the rest of the year, I allow extra time if they’re helping with dinner or cook at a time when we’re not in a hurry to get dinner on the table.
- Even very young kids can help with stirring and dumping things in a bowl. As they get older, you can give more responsibilities.
- Don’t be afraid of a mess. This is a hard one for me and something I always have to work on as I let the kids help. When messes happen, respond calmly and help them learn to clean up after themselves.
- Master one recipe at a time. That’s why I have the lists laid out the way I do so you can check the items off the list as they are mastered and the child can complete them on their own (or with minimal help).
Have fun! Start young or start now if your kids are older — it’s never too late! Cooking is an important skill to help our children become independent and it certainly doesn’t hurt when they can help out with work around the house! I’ll often put my 10 year old to work making muffins for breakfast the next morning or for lunch snacks when she is bored and looking for something to do.
When you sign up for my e-mail list in the form below, I’ll send you the printables I created for my own kids’ cookbooks that they’ll be receiving this Christmas as a thank you gift. If you’re already part of my e-mail list, you can still use this form to get your links to the free Cookbook printables.