Preparing meals in the home is one task many parents handle on their own. By involving their children and inviting them to be hands-on in the process, parents can create a new opportunity for bonding. This provides families the opportunity to bond and spend time together in a healthy and fun way. But do you think your children would see time in the kitchen as a chore? Try these tips to make it more enticing and to encourage them to get involved.
1) Let them make decisions.
Children of all ages, from toddlers on up through teenagers, value independence. They like to make their own choices in other aspects of their lives, so why not invite them to make some in the kitchen, too? If they want to eat unhealthy things, say chocolate, find a way to incorporate it into the meal in a healthy way that will satisfy their sweet tooth. For example, your family could prepare oatmeal pancakes that have cocoa in them or a chocolate mousse for dessert.
2) Incorporate technology.
If your teen is hooked to his or her phone, computer, or tablet, why not find a way to merge technology into your kitchen? Invite your child to find a recipe online that looks tasty, then make it a team challenge to make the meal together. You could also have him or her create a cooking playlist that you listen to when in the kitchen.
3) Don’t be critical.
Remember, your child doesn’t have the experience in the kitchen that you do. He or she will certainly make mistakes, and probably a few messes, too. Be patient, and never criticize what they do. By offering support and making time in the kitchen positive and fun, you’ll encourage a lifelong appreciation for homemade meals and healthier eating.
Thanks to JustyCinMD for the photo of a child cooking.