Over the years my children and I have cooked many meals together. Here are some things I’ve learned along the way.
Good helpers: Getting three meals on the table each day is time consuming and a lot of work. Children helping divides both the time and the work. Not only are they learning to be good helpers in the kitchen, they’re learning the important life skill of cooking.
Let them do fun stuff. A child’s interest wanes quickly if the only thing he gets to do is peel vegetables and set the table, so let them knead the dough and stir the soup and fill the pastries. They’ll enjoy cooking.
The mess is worth it. Especially when they were all younger, it was mandatory that we cooked supper altogether on most school days. This prevented squabbling or making messes in the other room. Most times the help outweighed the cooking messes.
The mess is NOT worth it. Sometimes the stress and mess of little cooks just isn’t what Mom can handle right then. If we are getting dinner company or the day has already felt like 3 days, it’s just easier to not have little cooks in the kitchen. And that’s okay! Quiet toys and books or playing outdoors is a good alternative.
Cooking good relationships. There’s good food being cooked and relationships are being built. Working in the kitchen together provides comradeship, opportunity for good conversations and much happy memory making.
Have fun cooking together!