Kids all over Australia are transforming households as they show interest in cooking and volunteer to take over the cooking duties of busy parents — and they are loving it in the process! While the proliferation of cooking shows is mostly to thank for this — including, notably, Junior MasterChef, as well as My Kitchen Rules, MasterChef, we think that encouraging kids’ interest in the kitchen can only be a good thing.
Giving kids the opportunity and skills to learn how to cook and prepare food safely is a wonderful life-long skill and a great way to strengthen parent-child bonds. Knowing what is age-appropriate for them is key and parents can and should be the judge of that. Cooking together also increases familial bonding time — and gets your kids out of their rooms and off their electronic devices, always a bonus!
We have a few tips on how to make your kitchen kid-friendly:
- Encourage them — what a fun and adventurous way to learn about food and embrace a life-long skill.
- Be patient — depending on the age of your kids, having a clean kitchen and cleaning up along the way at the same time as cooking with them may not be possible. Focus on the process: you’ll save yourself stress and frustration in the process.
- Show them the ropes and don’t leave kids in the kitchen unattended, ever. Cooking shows can only show them so much.
- Invest in stable stools for use around the kitchen if they can’t reach cupboards or benches.
- Integrated Accessories for the sink — like chopping boards that fit in or draining trays etc —are a great way to keep the mess localised.
- Pull-Out Or Pull-Down Sink Mixers are great for families since they make it easier for kids to reach, and keep the water spray down in the sink.
- Buy child-friendly utensils and always be clear with your children the boundaries of what they can do themselves and what they need your help with.
- Unless they have been shown how to use them responsibly and you judge them to be old enough to use them safely under supervision, keep dangerous or sharp tools and appliances away from children.