Invite your kids into the kitchen to keep you company or to just observe. This way cooking becomes a family activity – not a cooking lesson. They’ll dive in when they feel ready.
Focus on enjoying the moment, rather than on making the ‘perfect’ meal. Stay positive when things don’t turn out perfectly – it’s the memories that count. Making mistakes and trying again is all part of the process.
Include your child in meal planning and grocery shopping too. The more they’re involved, the more they’ll take interest in cooking. It’s also a simple way to introduce them to planning, budgeting, and making decisions.
Start with the recipes they love. Asking them to help with a favourite family recipe is a good way to pique their interest.
Begin with simple tasks. Let your kids take on the basic cooking tasks they want to try and let them master those skills. The more they can take on with minimal supervision, the more your prep time will be reduced.
Cook together once a week. A weekend breakfast or brunch is a good place to start as schedules are often more accommodating. Make it a regular occurrence and build on that.
Give them some space. Ensure your kids have a clear surface to work on and all the tools they need.
Help them develop their skills gradually. Preparing ingredients is a great first step. As they gain confidence and skills, encourage them to take on a side dish or an entire recipe.
Don’t go overboard with safety measures. Your kids want to feel like you trust them to complete tasks appropriate for their age. Simply stay at arm’s length for when they need your help.
Be generous with compliments. When a task or a meal is particularly well done, let your kids know. We all love to do the things we’re good at!
Take a look at Denise and Raymond’s recipe for success: