Food brings us together, but it can be about more than gathering around a table. There’s a whole journey that happens in the kitchen before the meal and you can share that experience with your grand kids. It’s about spending quality time with each other, and also about giving them valuable skills that will be useful as they get older.
Grand kids at any almost age can join you in the kitchen for a family cooking experience that will bring you closer together. Our sponsor HelloFresh can help guide you with fresh, healthy, and fast meal kit options delivered right to your home.
HelloFresh has lots of family-friendly recipes ranging from colorful beef taco pizzas to double-decker cheddar burgers that put a fun spin on a kid-pleasing classic. Here are some tips for cooking with the grand kids that will make your time in the kitchen together entertaining, productive and memorable.
Cooking at all ages
Even toddlers can help out in the kitchen. It’s all about picking the right tasks for the right age group. “Even simple jobs like getting them to pick herb leaves or stir a batter will give them a great sense of accomplishment and will mean they start to understand about and be interested in food from an early age,” chef Jamie Oliver said when he teamed up with HelloFresh to help get kids cooking.
Safe and fun
Tailor the cooking experience to your grand kids' age. Toddlers can give a hand with stirring ingredients, washing fruits and vegetables, sprinkling nuts and dried fruit into a batter or onto salads, or putting the toppings on a pizza. Make it into a learning experience and ask them to identify the ingredients and where they come from.
Keep kitchen safety in mind when cooking with young children. Keep sharp knives and other utensils out of reach. Be cautious with hot stovetops and ovens and any ingredients that might be heated up. Consider setting up a kid-friendly workstation at a table and be there to supervise the activities. And don’t forget to all wash your hands before you start cooking!
Raising young chefs
As kids get older, they can take on more kitchen tasks. HelloFresh recommends introducing basic knife skills around the age of seven, if you and your grand kids’ parents feel comfortable with it.
Demonstrate proper knife handling and how to hold the food stable while cutting. Supervise closely and give them something easy to start with, like a banana. You can even find kid-friendly kitchen knives with serrated blades and easy-to-grip handles. Some of these use nylon blades rather than steel.
If the grand kids show an interest in cooking, then start to include them on meal planning as well as preparation. You can challenge them to get creative with pizza toppings, sandwich fillings, or salad ingredients. Focus on the fun, health, and freshness of the meals.
Now that the grand kids are helping you pick and prepare meals, there’s one more important skill they can learn: cleaning up. You can cook together, eat together, and get the kitchen back into tip-top shape when you’re done. Your chef adventures with your grand kids are not only a great bonding experience, but you will be setting them up to enjoy a life-long love of food and cooking.
You’re probably using this one spice wrong
There is one very common ingredient that is often over-cooked or over-used.