Kids can be notoriously picky when it comes to new foods, but when you involve them in the cooking process, suddenly the dish has more appeal! Plus, cooking with your kids helps them build valuable life skills. They won’t always have you there to cook healthy meals for them, so they need to know how to assemble and prepare food on their own. Check out these easy recipes and cooking tasks that you can do with all your kids as part of your homeschool.
Food Safety Basics Class
Food-borne illness is a serious matter. It’s never too early to start educating your kids about the safe way to handle food in the kitchen. You could start with a demonstration about germs and how they spread, using a Glo Germ Powder Kit or a similar experiment. After showing them how germs are transferred, have your kids practice handling raw meat or fish, then washing their hands thoroughly. Teach them to sanitize counters, to use separate cutting boards for items like vegetables and raw meat, and to wash their hands after using raw eggs in a recipe. Talk about safe temperatures for different foods and about washing a knife or dish after it has come in contact with raw food.
Cooking Essentials Classes
Do your kids know how to crack an egg? Can they boil pasta, peel a potato, measure flour accurately, snap beans, or cut up vegetables? Make a list of essential skills that you want your kids to learn, and create mini cooking classes for your homeschool. One mini cooking class could cover all the different ways to prepare a particular vegetable, such as potatoes or carrots. Another class might focus on dexterity-related kitchen skills, such as cracking eggs, chopping onions, or flipping pancakes.
French Bread Pizza Class
Remember to keep the cooking classes tasty and enjoyable for the toddler set as well. These French bread pizzas are fun to make, and they’re the perfect size for little kids to handle. Even the smallest children can spread sauce on crusty bread, and they’ll be delighted to choose their own veggies, meats, and cheeses for topping the pizzas. After eight to ten minutes in the oven at 375 degrees, the delicious personalized pizzas will be ready for the table.
If you have older kids who have already mastered the basic skills, you can work on more advanced meal preparation. Make a list of five to ten simple dinners, and then create an instruction sheet for each meal, complete with ingredients, recipes, and instructions. Each week, help your older kids make one of those dinners. When they’ve gone through the entire set of meals, they have a final test—to choose one of the meals and create it again, this time on their own without any help.
Doing mini cooking classes with kids might be frustrating and messy at first, but if you persevere, you’ll have the joy of knowing that your kids can handle food safely and skillfully. It’s well worth the effort—and you might find that you love having a couple of little sous-chefs in the kitchen!
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Rebecca is a work-at-home freelance writer, novelist, wife, and the mom of two bright-eyed little ones. She credits her success in writing and her love of books to her own mom, who homeschooled three kids from pre-K through high school.