It is a real thing that once your kids know how to cook, you can holler at them at meal prep time and say, “Hey, I need you to go cook dinner for us tonight please.” Then you can go about your business of running other household tasks while your children efficiently cook a meal.
It’s one of the coolest things ever, and I’m not just talking about handing them boxes of mac-and-cheese.
As the mom of four sons currently ages 11, almost 14, almost 16, and 18 – all of whom can cook at various skill levels – I can’t say enough about the importance of teaching your kids to cook. Is it easier to just go into the kitchen and do it yourself? When the kids are younger, absolutely. There were many times I banned all my little boys from the room so I could just get it done. But allow me to remind you about sentence number one up there. Our kids need to know how to cook! It is worth taking the effort to teach them to cook when they are young so that when they are older they can wait on you hand and foot (and also feed themselves well and all that).
Boy #2 always walked around on the counter-top (close to the stove) while cooking.
He has grown out of this habit. We are grateful.
It’s been fun to revisit some pictures of my little cooking angels from back in the day. For some teenage reason, they don’t like me to take pictures of them cooking now. I mean, I think they’re still cute when they’re slicing and scrambling, but they usually say something about “hair not fixed” and “really, Mom?” so I put the camera away and let them go about their boiling and chopping. But cooking with these little guys has led to being cooked for by big guys, so I’ll just treasure it in my heart and leave my camera in my office.
My children with knives…
Walking on the counter-top by the stove aside, let’s talk about kitchen safety. Knives are almost always involved in cooking. There are so many questions about this! At what age is it safe to give kids a knife? What is the best way to teach them to cut safely? What should they be allowed to cut?
At this point in the mind of a parent, we get too scared to risk it and banish the kids from the kitchen (to play in the street). It seems safer.
Don’t give way to fear, and don’t hide the knives! You simply need to teach your kids how to use a knife safely. Just released today, here’s a fantastic, inexpensive tool for us!
Katie from Kitchen Stewardship put together a Knife Skills Training for Kids Video Series. In fact, she has put together an entire, incredible eCourse on teaching kids to cook because she is nothing short of amazing. Through January 18, Katie is kicking off her eCourse by offering this Knife Skills Training course for FREE!
Malachi (my 11-year old) and I just signed up and watched Video #1 from start to finish. It is super! I love how Katie put catchy names to the different knife safety rules and methods to help kids remember the safe way to hold and use knives. (My favs are Top Chop and Up and Over Soldier – you have to watch the video to know what these are and to see how her methods make so much sense!) She created free downloadable flashcards to use along with the lesson too.
Malachi ended up taking the entire Kids Cook Real Food eCourse. It has been a game changer at our house! I can’t say enough good about it.
Want a freebie?
Sign up here to get a great little booklet filled with great (healthy!) snacks kids can make themselves!
This is how we work ourselves out of a job, help our kids appreciate the hard work it takes to prepare a meal, and keep all their fingers intact. Join me?
What have been your experiences with your kids in the kitchen?
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