Great Ideas for Cooking with Kids: Kids in the kitchen.
I realized a few weeks ago my kids never help me cook. It’s not because they aren’t interested, it’s because I am anally retentive about them making a mess or ‘doing it wrong’ which is a really nice quality for a mother to have in case you were wondering.
Things you will hear me say while the kids are ‘helping':
“Don’t put egg shells in the batter!”
“oh, whoa whoa whoa….careful with the flour!”
“Put the milk in slowly….slower…slow.”
“Here you can pour this in but I’m going to keep my hand on it while you do, which means you aren’t actually pouring.”
They help me for about 2 minutes and then move on. I can’t imagine why….Maybe tools will help me!
Asha at Parent Hacks opened the floor for discussion of everyone’s favorite children’s cookbooks. I had no idea there were so many, it’s almost like people like cooking. Weird. Asha is a fan of Mollie Katzen’s kids cookbooks, including Pretend Soup. Other mentions include The Children’s Quick and Easy Cookbook and the Rachel Ray ‘Cooking Rocks’ book.
I think this Look and Cook Book from England looks promising and adorable, maybe even simple enough to help me grow my cooking skills. The illustrations have a very WWII feel and the instructions give kids (and maybe adults) a good basic knowledge of the kitchen and cooking terms. [link via Babygadget]
The Handstand Kids cookbook features kid cooks Izzy, Felix, Gabby, Marvin and Ari learning all about food. While learning to cook, kids learn about the culture and language of the place their recipes originated. Each book comes in a pizza box with a chef’s hat included.
You can’t have a proper cooking session without an apron and this green and striped one at Craftsbury kids is unisex, cute and just $11.50 on sale. It also comes in a swirly blue and a bold floral. These aprons are great even if you decide to give up on the cooking thing, there’s always clothing to be protected. Kids are always messy.
Williams-Sonoma has a nice collection of children’s items, including sturdy aprons which can be personalized. I am fond of the bee style for obvious reasons but my little boy would consider the camoflauge dinosaur apron a ‘must have’. They’ve also got kid size tools (including a safety grater; my knuckles may need this item), melamine bowls with a stay-put rubber bottom and must-have ice cream sandwich molds.
Maybe we can think of the kids as prep-chefs and outsource all the time consuming tasks to them. At least until they get sick of it. This juicer* is great for little hands and also plastic. This will come in handy when you’re mixing up that margarita and need a whole lot of lime juice. I have zero patience for sifting dry ingredients together, this little sifter* may free me of the task. A hand mixer* will keep a kid busy for a while, perfect for mixing up instant pudding. The ultimate kid tool however, is the apple peeler. Last year someone brought one of these to my son’s preschool class and entranced a room of fifteen 4-year-olds for hours. Apple pie anyone? It also peels potatoes, this is going to change my life. [*via AT: The Nursery.]
If you’re not ready to share your real cooking with the kids, how about playing bakery? With real ingredients, decorations and signs Kiddley’s bakery idea is an excellent way to keep your OCD in check but your kids satisfied with ‘helping’ in the kitchen.
I’m turning over a new leaf and the kids are going to help me cook and I’m going to let them do it all by themselves.
Okay, after we move. I can’t have flour on the floor for house showings!