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Bonding Chronicles: Here's How to Make Cooking Fun with Your Baby

Parenting / Nov 21, 2022 / Vetted by Paramjeet Kaur
4 Tips on How to Make Cooking Fun with Your Baby

Cooking with your young one is a great way to develop a love for food and inculcate healthy eating habits at a very young age in your toddler. Cooking also helps in your kid’s brain development. If you have some questions about involving your child in the kitchen, here is a quick guide for you.

At what age can my toddler/kid start cooking with me?

Your kids can start helping you in the kitchen at two years of age. It is important that you assign them tasks that suit their age. A two-year-old kid can wash the ingredients, tear vegetables, and carry plastic vessels. A three-year-old kid can pour or mix liquid ingredients, use spreads on bread, mix dry and liquid ingredients, and use the dustbin to dispose of waste.

Benefits of cooking with your kids

Cooking with your kid can benefit them in the following ways:
  • Simple activities like counting the fruits and vegetables or measuring the ingredients in a cup, spoon, or container is a good ways for understanding math.

  • Cooking provides children with ample opportunities to learn several sensory skills. Washing the ingredients can help develop their sense of touch. Smelling the raw ingredients and cooked food helps to build the smell. Observing various processes happening while cooking helps with vision. Describing different tastes of food helps to develop their taste.

  • If you consistently involve your kids while talking about the different cooking processes, such as naming the ingredients, counting, or the change in the appearance of food after it is cooked, it will help your kid learn your language. You can also read the recipes to your child, which allows them to understand different words and develop a good vocabulary.

  • Planning the entire cooking process, from selecting a recipe to listing and arranging the ingredients, will help your kid learn to organise their tasks.

  • Children develop coordination skills during cooking, such as the coordination of hands and eyes for performing activities like mixing or tearing vegetables.

  • Learning or helping to cook boosts the self-confidence of a child.

  • Cooking activity is beneficial for picky eaters. By spending more time in the kitchen, picky eaters get more familiar with the food. Seeing and participating in the process of cooking will develop their interest in trying new foods.

  • Cooking will expose your kid to numerous healthy foods like soups, idli, dhokla, dosa, sandwich, chilla, or paratha. This practice will aid in developing healthy eating habits at an early age and might benefit your kid by helping them make healthy food choices going ahead.

  • Involving your kid in the kitchen increases the time you spend with your kid, thus promoting parent-child bonding. The entire family can also join in the cooking, making it family time. This helps your child to build a good relationship with the family.

Tips for cooking with children

You can follow the tips mentioned below to cook with your kid:
  • Plan in a way where your kid will enjoy the entire process. Choose a recipe that is easy to cook, like stewed apples or besan chilla. Look out for the ingredients and arrange them in the kitchen. Divide the tasks between you and your child. Ensure that the tasks assigned are suitable for their age.

  • Initially, choose a simple recipe like milkshakes, juices, kokum sherbet, khichdi, or egg toast. Begin with recipes that do not involve switching on the gas, such as tomato and cheese sandwiches, coconut milkshakes, or buttermilk. Once your kid gets the hang of different kitchen activities, you can introduce new recipes.

  • Teach your kid to wash their hands before starting any task. Give them a place where they can safely perform all the activities assigned to them. Do not keep a knife or scissors near them. You can give them unbreakable cutlery. Ask them not to taste uncooked food.

  • You can involve your child in washing the plastic vessels and cleaning the kitchen platform.

Remember, cooking should be a fun activity for you and your kid. If your kid does not like to do the task assigned to them, switch it. The cooking process may be a bit slower or messier than usual when you do it with kids. The important thing is that you need to be patient and let your kid freely enjoy the process of cooking.

Looking for wholesome food recipes to cook with your little one? Head to the BabyG App to get complete access to 1000+ Development Activities, Milestones and Growth Reports, Meal Plans, Recipes, Bedtime Stories, Tips and a Global Community of like-minded parents.


References

  1. Little dish. Top tips for cooking with toddlers 
  2. Public Broadcasting Service. Cooking with kids 
  3. Sonoma County Office of Education. Benefits of cooking with preschoolers 
  4. Gundersen Health System. Why you should teach your kids how to cook 
  5. Raising Children Network. Cooking activities for kids: 3-6 years 
  6. Penn State Extension. Cooking together with young children 
  7. Pathways. Cooks of all ages: How kids can help in the kitchen 
  8. University of Illinois. Study provides more evidence that kids who cook have healthier dietary habits
  9. National Association for the Education of Young Children. "I helped mama too!" Cooking with a tiny helper
  10. University of Illinois. Cooking with children

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