Teach Kids to Cook: 10 Things a 10 Year Old Can Cook
My daughter Ashleya is 10 and can now cook dinner for the whole family. As a toddler she 'helped' me, by putting vegies in to a pot, even though it made things take longer and was a hindrance, BUT I persisted because I had a vision of my child knowing how to cook by the age of 10. She is now a confident cook and will probably over take my cooking ability at this rate! Bring it on :) So be patient, and when you can, as much as possible, teach kids to cook, by letting them 'help' you with cooking, even if it takes longer. When you teach kids to cook, it is an investment of your time that will pay off once they can cook for the whole family! When you teach kids to cook it is a great opportunity to: 1. Teach about basic nutrition
I've been able to teach my kids things like:
-Vitamin C from citrus fruit helps you absorb iron
-Homemade chicken stock is liquid gold that lines your digestive tract, and if you add a dash of vinegar to the stock it helps to break down the chicken to ensure all the goodness is extracted
-Eating fruit and veg all the colours of the rainbow is an easy way to make sure you're getting all the goodness you need from fresh produce (tip from my clever nutritionist friend)
2. Teach kids to have a balanced lifestyle
I've taught my kids that we eat healthy food at home, and that when we are out at someone else's house or at a party, they can eat whatever they want. If visitors come over we usually bake a cake or a treat. So we eat healthily about 80% of the time and eat whatever others feed us/have treats 20% of the time and have an 80/20 'balanced foodie lifestyle'. If it's someone's birthday we say yes to the cake and don't ever feel guilty or worry about it because food is to be enjoyed and everything is ok in moderation :)
3. Bond and create a food culture at home
After school I usually ask the kids if they want to help me cook, and some of them love to help everyday with dinner, while others prefer to only cook on the weekends. That's OK! When you teach kids to cook, there are many opportunities to show them it is ok if they make a mistake. If my kids break an egg on the floor, they won't get yelled at. They clean it up and are reminded that the more they practice cooking, the better they will get, and I encourage their effort. While we are cooking we talk about their day at school or any problems they had, which is bonding and home economics in one! We also eat together at dinner time, and whoever has helped to make the meal gets thanked by everyone else at the table.
4. Teach kids to cook for when they leave the nest
It's hard to imagine, but one day your kids will move out! If they don't know how to cook, they may be more likely to eat fast food/takeaway most of the time. That is not a healthy or affordable lifestyle! When you teach kids to make wholesome meals, you are teaching them life skills, and giving them the gift of health that will last a lifetime. If you don't teach them to cook, who will? So make sure you teach kids to cook at home!
Here is a list of 10 things a 10 year old kid can make from scratch:
My next goal is for everyone in the family to cook one day per week on rotation, and with six people in our family, that means I'll only cook about once a week. I believe it is important for the kids to contribute to the family and work as a team together. Have you started teaching your kids to cook at home? Would love to hear your tips in the comments :)