It’s no surprise that I cook with my kids, like every meal, and I see all the wonderful benefits with my very own eyes. LG electronics just released a survey asking over 2500 American’s their feelings on brining kids into the kitchen. Here are some of the highlights:
- More than nine in 10 parents (93 percent) confirm that after cooking with their kids in the kitchen, their children have a better understanding and appreciation for healthy foods and eating
- More than 40 percent of parents state the most important reason they cook with their kids is to teach them an important life skill (42 percent)
- Summertime is a key period to get little sous chefs involved and excited about whipping up tasty treats and delectable dishes, with six in 10 (62 percent) parents engaging their children in cooking to help keep their minds sharp and occupied during summer months.
- For your sous chefs in the making, parents indicate age eight, on average, is the appropriate age to start participating in meal preparation
Now you don’t just have to take my word for it! Although I will say that I get my kids in the kitchen and helping prep, cook, set the table, and serve food way before the average age of eight. As soon as my kiddos are sturdy on a stool or chair, I have them helping. Sure things get messy, but it never takes long to clean up. My daughter once turned the mixer on high and flour went everywhere, including all over her face. We laughed and laughed and it only took me five minutes to clean it all up, but we will have a lifetime of reminiscing about that hilarious moment. Here’s a post cooking with my then two year old as he washes, cuts, seasons, and flips cauliflower steaks.
My kids have been in the kitchen since they were infants and helping soon after, it’s given them confidence and skills to creat their own menu. A couple of years ago my daughter, at just five years old, requested to make dinner for the family using her own recipe and technique. She did it and it was delicious! Check out her dinner here.
To help parents ease their kids into the right kitchen activities at the right time, LG’s Executive Chef Thornhill offers the following tips:
- · From Grocery to Table. The survey shows that storing newly bought groceries is among the most popular kitchen activity for parents teaching children (86 percent). This simple task can also help your child learn new ingredients, like an exciting new vegetable, which will make them more likely to try (and like) new things, as well as identify colors and gain organizational skills.
- · The Right Stuff. Ninety-seven percent of parents agree that keeping greens and healthy snacks in easily accessible areas of the refrigerator is an important part of teaching your child healthy eating habits. LG’s super-capacity fridge with a built-in, magnetically sealed door-within-a-door compartment offers easy access to commonly used cooking ingredients and small, healthy snacks kids are able to retrieve themselves.
- · More Pepper? Have your kids taste the food they’re making and talk with them about alterations. This will encourage them to analyze the flavors they taste, but also recognize the value different ingredients bring to a dish. Just watch as your little rosemary-lover or garlic connoisseur blossoms.
- · Party in the Kitchen! 63 percent of parents feel children as young as four can help in the kitchen, but you don’t want to let meal preparation seem like a chore at such an early age. The more excited you are to cook with your kids, the more excited they will be, too. Turn on some music, have a giggle, and share tidbits about your day as you whip up something delicious.
- · Clean Machine. Knowing time and amount of cleanup is among the top barriers for parents cooking with their kids, have them start with simple cleaning tasks like clearing the table and loading the dishwasher to emphasize the importance of cleanliness and kitchen upkeep. From there, parents can show kids how to tackle even the toughest tasks, from greasy pans to dirty ovens, in the most simple and efficient ways. For example, LG’s new EasyClean ranges have a quick and easy cleanup for mess inside the oven just spray water into the oven, press a button and wipe away any residual grime 20 minutes later versus hours for typical self-cleaning oven modes.*