Get your kids cooking in the kitchen with these top tips

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Get your kids cooking in the kitchen with these top tips

There are so many wonderful benefits to teaching your kids to help in the kitchen.

Cooking with kids encourages adventurous eating and gives kids a chance to practice essential skills like reading, following directions and even basic math and science - but in a fun way!

Although it requires a lot of patience, and a bit of extra mess, the benefits are endless.

We've got the tips to keep it enjoyable for everyone.

Take your time

After work, mid-week while you've got a million things on your to-do list is probably not the best time to be patient with a toddler trying to pour flour into a bowl. Put aside some time on the weekend where they can prepare their own snacks or make Sunday morning pancakes together. The whole experience will be more enjoyable when you're relaxed and can take your time.

Let them help with the meal planning and shopping

Sit down together and write a list of meals and snacks for the week. Encourage their curiosity by suggesting they try one new meal a week. They're more likely to eat it if they've helped prepare it.

Kids loving being helpers at the supermarket. Visit Westfield Manukau Countdown, kids will love pushing the trolley or putting each ingredient in as you go along.

Choose age appropriate tasks

Start slow by letting kids do the quicker, easier tasks such as cracking an egg, pouring in already measured liquids or picking herbs. Increase the complexity as their interest increases.

Toddlers can safely place prepared ingredients into bowls, tear up leafy greens, pass you ingredients, pour dry and wet ingredients with help.

Pre-schoolers can spread butter onto bread, mash ingredients with a fork, knead dough, use a whisk or fork to mix and chop herbs carefully with scissors.

School aged children can complete most tasks with assistance. Parents can do the chopping and anything involving stovetops or ovens, but older children can help with most tasks at this age.

No matter their age, teach them which equipment they can use safely and ensure you're nearby at all times when ovens or stovetops are in use.

Make it a regular thing

Maybe it's your Sunday morning breakfast ritual, your Taco Tuesday nights or they help pack school lunches on Fridays; make it a regular occurrence. This will give kids a sense of responsibility and routine as well as increase their exposure to different foods and boost their overall confidence and independence.

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