Parents often complain about their kids being picky and choosy about their food, or even closing their mouths shut if they are made try a new food. But, did you know that there is a simple solution to this problem? You can get your kids to be willing to try and eat anything by just getting them interested in cooking.
Here are some tips on how you can get your kids interested in cooking to fix their resistant eating habits.
Involve them in picking out the ingredients on your shopping list
When shopping for groceries give your kids the task of selecting some of the ingredients to be used for preparing the meals. It’s quite easy for them to get fresh vegetables, so tell them how many onions, tomatoes, lettuce heads, or peaches you require and ask them to retrieve it for you. When you start cooking, involve them in preparing the items by having them wash and dry them.
Allow them to choose some of the foods they would like to have for dinner
When you are out grocery shopping with your kids, allow them to choose few food items like vegetables, fruits, and meat which they would like to have for their meal at dinner. Once you get back home, look through some recipes together to decide how to cook the ingredients they chose.
You can even let them try their hand at cooking by allowing them to choose a recipe which can be easy for them. This will surely get your kids interested in cooking.
Mix new foods with some of your kids’ favorite foods
Show your kids how wonderful cooking can be by inventing new dishes which contain some of their favorite foods. If they love chicken nuggets then simply prepare it with some other ingredients like cucumber slices and bell peppers which can make it tastier. This way they will want to know more about how they can make food taste better and thus, come to you to learn more about cooking.
Assign small tasks which they can do to help in preparing their dinner
Cooking along with your kids will make them familiar with the way things need to be done in the kitchen. At first, start them on small jobs which they can do to assist you. For example, get them to get the items out of the refrigerator, or have them set the table and put the food on plates. You can get them to wash the plates after eating as well. Later, you can teach them about different tasks like cutting or measuring the ingredients, or being in charge of food timer.
Start them out young
It’s a good idea to start them out young. For instance, give wooden spoons and measuring cups to your babies and toddlers to play with. Allow your 5 year olds to get their hands dirty by playing around with some of the ingredients. You can even encourage and inspire them to come up with their own recipes. Show them how to use simple ingredients like flour and water to make dough.
Get your kids their own cooking utensils
Providing your kids with their own set of cooking utensils like their own special mixing spoon or a set of colorful measuring cups will certainly make them want to use them. They will always be waiting for an opportunity to use these, so they will be waiting for you to ask for their help. Make them feel more like a chef by giving them their own little aprons.
You can even decorate an old apron along with them and present it to them once it’s done. They will always look forward to wearing it every chance they get. This is how you can get them interested in cooking.
Taste the meal you are cooking together
Decide what you want to make for dinner together and get some fun spices, herbs, or other foods from the grocery store to add to the dish. This will make the dish you are preparing together all the more unique and special. Taste everything together and teach them about the textures, flavors, and colors of the ingredients and how they can be added to meals.
Get your kids to grow their own ingredients to use
Giving your kid a small basil plant to nurture and use once it is ready will instill a sense of responsibility in them. They will also relish the meal prepared from the ingredients grown by them. To get your kids interested in cooking you can show them how to use the ingredients by teaching them about the recipes that they can be used in.
Take your kids along with you to your local farmers market to buy some fresh seasonal foods. Let your kids ask the farmers about the foods so that they can learn how to buy them in the future.
Ask them to prepare a meal of their own one night
Ask them to cook a meal for dinner one night and help them do so by researching kid friendly recipes together. You can even ask them to invite some of their friends over to get them encouraged to their best in making a meal for everyone to enjoy. Of course, you will be there helping your kid prepare the meal, but act as if your kid is in charge of the entire cooking process and you are just there to listen to their instructions.
Teach them how to enjoy food and cooking
Once you let your kids experience how their efforts to cook their own food can make that meal tastier than any other, they will definitely learn to enjoy food and stop being fussy. Moreover, they will also want to learn more about cooking and what more can they do to get better at it.
They will most certainly be willing to give new foods a chance as they will be interested to see how they can cook them into something really mouth-watering. Once you get your kids interested in cooking, have them help you in the kitchen every now and then. Having a ‘new food night’ once a week will make them look forward to learning something new every week.