Hudson Valley Parent

HVP March 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 15 of 39

16 Hudson Valley Parent n March 2016 want to have your child try carrots, challenge them to go online and find a recipe that sounds delicious, that has carrots and that they would enjoy. For younger children, print out 3-4 recipes and let them decide. Often, food issues are not about the food itself, but are about having con- trol over the food. Give your kids the power to decide and watch what happens. 3. Safety first Choose age-appropriate recipes, techniques and tools, using plastic knives for chopping and cutting for younger children. Teach them how to use small household appliances like can openers and vegetable peel- ers early with proper supervision. I actually purchased an inexpensive basket and a set of cooking tools just for my daughter. Each time we cooked and I taught her how to use a tool, she got to keep it as her own, in her basket. She looked forward to cooking almost every time. Create a safe work environment and be sure to set up your work area together first making sure every- thing is within easy reach. Let the younger kids use a stepstool to more easily reach items on the counter. Remove unnecessary objects from countertops or anything you feel might be dangerous. Remember, young children should never be left unsupervised. 4. Let them be It's our natural tendency as parents to want to take over in situations where we are really trying to teach. This is where patience be- comes important and where kids can By STACEY HAWKINS K ids are creative by nature which tends to lead them to do great things. It can cause great disasters as well, though, when it comes to spending time in the kitchen. I feel that fostering a child's sense of comfort in the kitchen leads to important life skills that they will use for years to come. Although it's often hard to get kids involved in the kitchen, it does not have to be impossible. Here are my top tips to ward off "Kids in the Kitchen" disasters: 1. Schedule it Set aside an ample amount of time to set up, prepare, cook, and enjoy the results of your time togeth- er. Review the recipe, ingredients and overall cooking time. Give your- self a comfortable cushion. Don't forget to include time for clean up as well. Things rushed, done at the last minute or without the proper amount time lead to stress, pressure and disaster for both you and your child. And that's no fun for anyone. Consider scheduling your cooking adventure on weekends, or starting after school when there's no time pressure. 2. Collaborate Get your child involved in what it is you're preparing together. By getting them to "buy in" they'll be much more excited and interested in the outcome. Planning together can be a great for kids to try new foods, especial- ly vegetables. For example, if you really put parents to the test. Take an age-appropriate step back from controlling the situation and al- low your child to do most of what he or she can without your taking over. Paper towels are on the counter for a reason. 5. Celebrate! Set a beautiful table with your child for your chosen breakfast, lunch or dinner. Nothing will make your children happier than com- ments and compliments on their efforts. Cooking with kids can not only be fun, rewarding and productive, but it gives you the chance to truly bond with them while teaching valuable life skills. Be prepared, stay relaxed and celebrate the results. This makes it easy on you both and keeps you out of the hospital. Stacey Hawkins is a CIA trained chef and mom. For more of her great ideas, visit 5 ways to make cooking with kids easy & fun My 13-year-old daughter, Jacque, loves mak- ing dinner and learning new cooking skills.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Hudson Valley Parent - HVP March 2016