What are those three little words? “Can I Help?” Whether it be DIY or making dinner, there are times when the assistance of a four year old is not always that helpful. Behind the eyes, my brain may be screaming NO but answer is almost always, yes. In general, with a little guidance, the job still gets done, often a little slower than planned but the job still gets done.
But that situation is improving. Our four year old has helped with cooking for as long as he has been able to. From stirring, sprinkling and rinsing to weighing, spreading, cracking of eggs and ALWAYS tasting, he loves to be involved. Our Thermomix is a massive help. The wonder machine that weighs, chops, blends, mixes, grinds, grates, cooks, steams, whisks, kneads and more really allows kids to get involved.
He loves using the machine to cook. It is simple to use and control and with a little assistance he can more or less produce dishes himself. We made bacon and pea soup recently and he was in charge of adding all the ingredients and pushing all the buttons and the result was a great tasting soup which he referred to as “my soup”.
Whatever your method of getting kids involved in cooking the benefits can include developing fine motor skills, understanding food and it’s components, achieving a sense of accomplishment but it is also quality, fun time too.
Our motives are not entirely selfless though. One of the best benefits of getting kids involved in the kitchen is that they tend to eat what they make. This recipe contained pearl barley, lentils and split peas to name but a few ingredients and when it came to eating “his soup” the bowl was licked clean. This is great for us as it allows us much more variety in our eating. There was a time when our son was a tomato soup or nothing man. Getting him involved in the kitchen has broadened his horizons and subsequently the repertoire of meals we can serve.
This will be an ongoing process which will hopefully allow us as a family to eat broadly and assist in our children having a healthy relationship with their food. Watch this space to see how this journey progresses.