Last fall, we shared a piece about kids and kitchen safety from a valued patron and caring parent. Even though we are a female-owned and operated business, we encourage men to get their children acquainted with the kitchen from an early age. At Flavor we know that baking not only encourages creativity and critical thinking, but can develop into a lifelong passion. We’re happy to share another thoughtful write-up from Daniel Sherwin that we hope inspires other dads in the community!
by guest writer Daniel Sherwin
Photo Credit: pixabay.com
As a single parent, you face a lot of pressure to provide the bare necessities for your family. Not only are you expected to provide food, shelter and safety for your children, but you are also expected to teach and pass along important life lessons and skills. Cooking and baking in the kitchen is one way you can provide for your children and pass along valuable life lessons at the same time. Here are three ways you can include your children in the cooking process, and the valuable lessons they will learn along the way.
Teach Your Kids Cleanliness and Safety in Your Kitchen Prep
Before you set to baking treats or preparing a full meal, you need to prepare the right ingredients and materials to get the job done. If you really want to include your children in the cooking process, you need to bring them in at the beginning.
One lesson that never loses its value in the kitchen is cleanliness. Have everyone wash their hands and teach the dangers of germs spreading, and how clean hands help stop dangerous bacteria from spreading into food. Even at a young age, children are incredibly perceptive and impressionable, and learning this lesson early will help them understand the importance of cleanliness in the kitchen and beyond.
Similarly, prep time is a great time to go over the basic safety rules about cooking in the kitchen. Practicing kitchen safety is an extremely important lesson to pass on to kids. Sharp utensils pose a risk for cutting, and hot surfaces can lead to severe burns. These facts shouldn’t remain mysteries to your kids. Go over the rules with them before each baking session and make sure to keep your kitchen safe and kid-friendly before you crack your first egg.
Hone Your Kids’ Motor-Skills Using Different Utensils
No matter your children’s age, there will always be some tasks that they will be able to do. How to use several cooking utensils such as spoons, tongs, mixers and knives are all good lessons to have. As their father, you will have the best judgment about their capabilities. Younger ages should start off slow: mixing ingredients with wooden spoons, covering cake or cookies with icing, or portioning out cookie dough on the pan. With age and kitchen-practice, they can move on to more advanced skills such as grating and even chopping with knives. Whenever teaching how to use a new utensil, be sure to show them first and observe them closely when they start to try themselves.
Teach Your Kids Math and Healthy Eating while Mixing Ingredients
Cooking teaches us lots of practical skills such as counting and measuring ingredients. As a dad, this gives you plenty of chances to test their measurement skills, how to add, subtract and appreciate keeping to the recipe. While teaching them about different proportions of ingredients, your children might make a few astute observations. You never really appreciate how much sugar or butter goes into cookies until you see an entire cup going into the bowl. By engaging with the ingredients that go into different meals, your children will have a better understanding of what they are putting in their bodies and become a little more health-conscious as a result.
Cooking in the kitchen together will bring you closer to your children and create memories that will stay with them. You’ll find that over time, there will always be more teachable moments for you to pass along valuable lessons to your children. They will appreciate spending time with you now and thank you for all that you taught them when they grow up.