Kids and cooking. Is this something you would never dream to put into the same sentence? Do you struggle to get your children to eat certain food, try new things or just to simply eat the dinner on the table? these 5 ways are designed to get you kids interested in food.
Yesterday I went for a haircut to an awesome salon Summer and Lola in Exmouth.
Now you think how is this related? Well Helen, the lovely lady who cut my hair was talking to me about her son and how he does not like cooking or even food that much. This made me think about that some kids or even adults are not really into cooking that much. To try and eliminate this I have put together a list that will help your children turn into little foodies. BUT beware! This could mean that they will NOT eat anything you give them, only good food. My children refuse to eat junk food. Yeah right you say, however it gets a bit difficult on days when you don't have time to cook. Oh boy they know what they want! Be warned, but if you don't mind this, read on!
1. Eat together
Every family should eat together at least once a day. Normally it's dinner in our house. Even on busy days we make sure we sit down for a meal. This doesn't have to be a meal fit for a king; anything will do. The point here is the "togetherness". Kids absolutely love to be with their parents. We eat together from the point Saby was old enough to sit in a highchair and eat the same thing. I know it might sound crazy, but believe me they want to eat what you eat, not something strange. Just puree it up or follow baby-led weaning as we did. In the video below our eldest is eating a chicken drumstick when he was barely 6 months old. He loved it and we never turned back. (But as I said it is not compulsory to "choke" your child, if you are not confident in baby-led weaning)
With older children it is easier. Just cook one meal, put it on the middle of the table and let them help themselves to whatever they like. They will try new things, just don't push it. They can turn pretty sceptic in no time in the sign of any pressure. Don't push it and don't be discouraged if they don't like what you have cooked. Just try again on another day. Do praise them for trying something new. Be positive and they will get involved. Guaranteed.
2. Talk about food
The best time is to talk about food first is during dinner time. Ask your children about their favourite choices and if they liked the meal.
You can talk about food at loads of different times, for example at the supermarket or while they are watching their favourite cartoon. Did you realise that kid's programmes always filled with food related subjects? Just remember the Harry Potter stories, they are just always eating! How bizarre is that? Kids adore food, especially if it is big, colourful or strange in any way. Think about green jellies at Halloween for example.
3. Cook what they like
While you are talking about food, find out what they like. I mean you probably already know the most preferred choices, but trust me if they tell you it is much more interesting. They might like one thing one day, but they won't touch it next week. Kids are funny creatures, especially when it comes to eating. In our house a pasta dish will always go down nicely. My 2 years old invention was pasta with butter. That's it. We had that for lunch. He loved the fact that I trusted him to choose the ingredients. We all went with it, and he loved it.
Really the key is here that we all have favourites. Just try to cook that and watch them be amazed by the whole process that something funny looking will turn into a yummy snack.
4. Go shopping
Plan a trip to the store. It doesn't have to be a big shopping day. I am not thinking about the let's just buy the groceries for the next month all in one go. All you have to do is plan a meal, or cake, whatever floats their boat, and go shopping just for those ingredients. Even if you have them in the house it is a first great step to get them see where the food is coming from. Go where you would normally get your food from, let it be the supermarket, farm shop or the store around the corner.
Kid's love to pick and choose things. Make it a game that the first to find it, will get a prize. It gives you an opportunity to talk about food as well.
5. Play with food
Yes you heard that right. I know probably my Grandma would go insane on this one too, but don't take it seriously. You are not aiming for a Michelin star, just for something that your kid's will eat. Actually I am not entirely sure is the easier to achieve.
It is a game. Approach it as a child would. Make a mess, pour, mix, spread. It is just fun, nothing more, nothing less at this point. Try to find the simplest recipe going. Find their favorite tool in the kitchen. In our house they always fighting for the citrus press from all things.
Get all the ingredients measured out previously at first. They love mixing them together. Try to act funny and playful. It is just cooking, not rocket science!
5 + 1
In our house we have given the kid's their own tools. You can have just a few things or go crazy on gadgets. Kids just absolutely adore colourful tools, their own chopping mats or even a knife! Visit our shop to see our range of cooking accessories.
Follow these steps and you will have a little foodie in your house in no time!