Creative Child

5 Ways to Get Creative in the Kitchen

Cooking can be a dreaded task that must be done every day regardless of how we feel but getting the kids involved in meal prep can bring fun to this chore for both parent and child. While it may take a little extra time and patience to involve kids in kitchen tasks, cooking at a young age can boost healthy eating, reduce the likelihood of picky eaters, and teach responsibility. Here are some creative ways to get your kids cooking.

Build your own

One easy way to get kids involved in the cooking is to give them the opportunity to make their own choices. Try having a taco or potato bar for dinner and offer a variety of toppings where kids build their own meal. This works especially well for toddlers who are not quite old enough to do a lot of cooking but still want to help in the kitchen. Other ideas may be building your own pizza, making your own omelette, or pancakes. These meals give kids the opportunity to sample fruit or vegetables they may not otherwise try and use a little creativity as well.

Grow your own

What better way to get kids to understand the process involved in growing and harvesting food than to plant a garden in your own backyard. Allow the kids to use their creativity to decide what foods your family would like to grow, plant them, care for them, and harvest them. You may need to make a trip to a local nursery to get a good idea of what will grow in your climate. Once they have their crop they can help plan meals where they will use the produce they have and sample it themselves. This is a great way to get kids to try vegetables.  If you are short on yard space, look into container gardening for things that you can grow on decks or patios.

A science experiment

Cooking is a great way to teach kids about science. Baking ingredients need to be measured exactly for the recipe to come out as expected where soups, casseroles, salads, and many other savory dishes are more forgiving when the ingredients are adjusted slightly. Allow kids to get creative with ingredients. Does this dish need more salt? More onion? More cheese? Older kids, with supervision, can be given the opportunity to experiment with tastes and ingredients and express their creativity. You can also teach kids about science by explaining what would happen if you forgot a baking ingredient like flour, baking powder, or salt.

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