should you engage your child with cooking preparations

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should you engage your child with cooking preparations

Postby charrlotte » Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:56 pm

Hi, i am charlotte a mother of 2 ( age 5 and 7 ) . I have been debating with myself on whether i should let my child to enter the kitchen to assist me with the preparation of daily meals.

I would like to hear your views about whether or not to have a child to assist in the preparation process, and it would be awesome if you have experienced cooking with your child do share with me the dangers and trouble you encounter so i can gear up for the process ! so please do share !

Update
Hey guys thanks so much for your feedback ! I tried cooking with my kids yesterday, and they seem to lose their attention really easily. Any of you faces the same problems with your child? or is there any other problems you faced during the process e.g getting them organized ? lastly ! Do you usually encourage your child to stand or seat while assisting?
Last edited by charrlotte on Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

charrlotte
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Re: should you engage your child with cooking preparations

Postby slmkhoo » Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:03 pm

My answer is 'of course'! Just supervise them and teach them first, and let them do what they can or are interested in doing. I would avoid sharp knives and the stove for the time being since your kids are still small, but they can peel (with a peeler) and wash veg, wash rice, and just watch the whole cooking process.

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Re: should you engage your child with cooking preparations

Postby sembgal » Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:47 pm

charrlotte wrote:Hi, i am charlotte a mother of 2 ( age 5 and 7 ) . I have been debating with myself on whether i should let my child to enter the kitchen to assist me with the preparation of daily meals.

I would like to hear your views about whether or not to have a child to assist in the preparation process, and it would be awesome if you have experienced cooking with your child do share with me the dangers and trouble you encounter so i can gear up for the process ! so please do share !

Of course! There is so much to learn in the kitchen, language skills, numeracy skills, fine motor skills, social-emotional skill and sense of wonder & discovery for them to learn.

sembgal
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Re: should you engage your child with cooking preparations

Postby Janet2014 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:52 pm

It is good that they are interested. Beat an egg, wash the rice or veg,these are some tasks that they can handle. Then of course, you have to be prepared for the mess. But in no time, they will perfect their skills. a good bonding time with you kids.

Janet2014
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Re: should you engage your child with cooking preparations

Postby Funz » Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:53 pm

I don't see why not.

My kids started mucking around the kitchen when they were about 4 or 5 yrs old. Started with simple stuff like plucking vege, beating eggs, mashing stuff.

To be able to handle the knife and actually cook using the stove, I go not by age but by capability and level of interest and size. Kid must be tall enough to comfortably handle the pan and stirrer over the stove. Safety and hygiene stuff, hair must be tied, no loose flowy clothes when cooking, always wash hands with hand soap, etc.

DD started cooking simple stuff over the stove by the time she was about 6/7yrs old. Things like scramble eggs, French toasts, pancakes. Then she moved on to sunny side ups, bacons and soups. Now at 11 she can handle stir fries.

DS, no interest, not tall enough and does not have his sister's dexterity so no handling of the bigger knives or cooking over the stove even though he is 9 already.

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Re: should you engage your child with cooking preparations

Postby SAHM_TAN » Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:08 pm

My 3 kiddos helped out.

They helped when I baked, best eggs, wash rice and prep rice to cook. dd1 can use peeler. She will help chop mushrooms, soft mah LOL.

bb will pass me ingredient and play play wash rice. She had a go at chopping carrots, 3.5yos. We hold the knife together.

The older ones will also help to wash dishes. I usually close both eyes when they help with the dishes, telling myself the important part is that they want to wash the dishes LOL

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Re: should you engage your child with cooking preparations

Postby Glade » Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:27 pm

Sure why not? I always engage my kids when i do baking or when cooking. They find it fun!

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Re: should you engage your child with cooking preparations

Postby bubbles_ling » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:57 am

Glade wrote:Sure why not? I always engage my kids when i do baking or when cooking. They find it fun!


me too!

it's teaching them life skills and bonding time.

But i would not allowing them to use the knife and if they do, i'll make sure I'll be watching them. They are not allowed to touch any sharp objects on their own.

bubbles_ling
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Re: should you engage your child with cooking preparations

Postby ammonite » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:55 am

charrlotte wrote:Update
Hey guys thanks so much for your feedback ! I tried cooking with my kids yesterday, and they seem to lose their attention really easily. Any of you faces the same problems with your child? or is there any other problems you faced during the process e.g getting them organized ? lastly ! Do you usually encourage your child to stand or seat while assisting?


Hi,

Regarding your questions of attention, organization and position, it depends on your menu, the tasks and your children's height. Also depends on their readiness. My kids are free to enter the kitchen from the time they could crawl (since I don't use playpens and am sole caregiver), so things evolve with them.

You should start with the most basic tasks eg preparation of vegetables, and don't expect them to do it to your standard right away, just an approximation. Maybe lunch is better than dinner. Shelling of hard boiled eggs is another task they can start on. You may have to cool and crack the shell for them the first few times until they are more familiar. And the first few eggs will be ugly but edible.

They can use a butter knife on soft vegetables. My kids started with mushrooms and celery. Don't expect them to stick with you for half an hour, but rather set each a task and congratulate them afterwards when you serve up the food.

In the beginning, they will not be much help but rather more work because you have to set up a working area for them and clean up after them. Depending on your furniture, space and their height, you can use 1) low table at their height 2) a wide base nonslip stool and cleared kitchen counter 3) dining table. For work surface, you can provide a big ceramic plate, a chopping board or a tray. Eg In the beginning when my children shell eggs, they get a tray each with two bowls, one with water and eggs, the other empty to put the shelled eggs into. The one with water will definitely be a heavy ceramic bowl so it won't tip easily.

They pick up a real knife when they are ready (generally depends on the height, no standing on stool for that) but I will vett the size. For peeling vegetables, I will choose regular shapes that they can hold easily. Carrots are the easiest. Irregular shapes like potatoes can be tricky if too small, so only russet potatoes. The early potatoes I received from them were almost half their original size. :lol:

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Re: should you engage your child with cooking preparations

Postby slmkhoo » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:08 am

Agree with ammonite - there's no hard and fast rules for this. Just ask them to help you with whatever seems within their capabilities. Some kids will be more keen than others, and you will have to decide whether you insist that they finish a task or stay to the end, or just let them go. My older girl was never interested, so I would get her to finish some small task to introduce her to the idea of helping in the kitchen then let her go; my younger girl has always been much more willing to learn and just hang around asking questions and helping.

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