Making Your Kids Learn Cooking!

By Afifa Jawwad Maniar

Winter season is in full swing! With winter vacations coming up, it calls for some good old family fun time. Doesn’t it sound wonderful that while having fun, the kids can learn a new skill? As they enjoy this activity we, as parents, swell with pride at their every accomplishment. It is believed that starting to teach your kids to cook between the ages of 5-11 years is the best time to begin. By the time they are 12 years old, it becomes necessary for children to have a basic know-how about cooking and the ability to feed themselves on their own. Cooking is one of the basic life skills every person should know. Further, it helps in grooming, personal development and confidence building of a child.
Learning how to cook allows children to appreciate different tastes and foods. It also inculcates a sense of responsibility in them. By making it a family activity, with both parents equally involved, you can hit three birds with one stone; teach the kids a life skill, instill in their young minds a sense of equality in this patriarchal society of ours andhave fun while doing it!

1. Elementary Inception
While you are ready to teach your child about cooking, make the start really simple for them. Plan the things for them on a daily basis. A simple start may be like asking your kid to dry the washed wet plates and utensils. Once they have learned cleaning and drying technique, move on to the next step of pouring and mixing ingredients for the recipes you are going to cook. Your next step should probably be teaching them to learn to deal with peelers. This way your child will find it easy to follow and as the learning process exceeds, he/she will be delighted upon his/her achievement. Afterwards, allow them to garnish the sandwiches and top their pizza as per their choice. Allow them to wash fruits and vegetables.

2. Basic Rules
Before you actually teach your kid how to cook, cover the basic rules of cleanliness for them like washing hands before and after handling the food. Tell your baby girl to tie her hair if she does not want to taste them in her sandwich. One of the most important things to remember always uses right terminologies for kitchen utensils. No matter how much it is difficult for
them to pronounce those words; they are definitely going to learn anyway. Teach your young chef about the difference and handling of raw and ready-to-eat foods. Show them the right way to taste the food once prepared and deal with any shortcomings regarding taste.

3. Alternate Choices
Plan the schedule on alternate choices like one
day schedule for pies and sweets as per your child’s choice and other day plan some smoothies
or vegetable salads as per your choice. Include the recipe for preparing lemon or orange juice on other days.

4. Sense Of Creativity And Fun
Decoration of cakes/cupcakes with cream can bring a lot of creativity and fun for your child. This is a very important thing to practice is to make and maintain a fun environment and smile more often. Teach your kids other issues surrounding foodies and cooking like to tell them how cooking may depict the particular culture and introduce them to native foods and culture. Ask them their favourite foods and help them try to cook them. Your kid is definitely going to love it.

5. Light Mood Supervision
The kitchen is full of sharp tools and hot stoves so while teaching your kid anything even apart from cooking as well, try to remain calm and try not to show any anxiety. Being anxious is always contagious for your child. Keep an eye on the activity of your child, but do not hover. Let them try their hands on things and do not mind them getting messy. However, it’s another thing, how you teach them to clean the area up. Once your child has done something like topping of desserts and pizza, do not try to fix or change anything. This may bring a thought that they have not done it correctly. Appreciate them and build their confidence. Ask and help your kid to maintain a journal of this learning activity and capture pictures.

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