When comes to cooking and baking with your kids, you usually imagine your self doing with older children. While it is easier to cook and bake with children over the age of five, you can have just as much fun cooking with younger kids as well. Even children between the ages of 2 and four enjoy getting into the kitchen. This may also help if your little one tends to be a picky eater. By having them help, you will be encouraging them to eat what they made.
The first step to cooking with a child who is under the age of four is to be sure and lay out a disposable table cloth on the kitchen table. You may also want to lay one on the floor. I have found that this allows you to have an easier time with the clean up afterwards. Try choosing a recipe that your child is sure to enjoy such as baking cookies, or making a personal pan pizza in your pizza oven. I would also recommend purchasing or making your little one their own apron. This will make them fool important about being in the kitchen with you. Be sure to lay out all of the materials on the table for your cooking project before you even begin.
Have your child sit in their high dining chair or in a booster seat so that they can reach the table. Walk them through each process step by step. You can have one lump of cookie dough prepared in advance and divide it up into sections. This way they can watch you work with your section and they can work with theirs. Remember that children truly enjoy imitating their parents. By being able to get their hands dirty and watch you work, they will be learning and having fun.
Don’t worry about them making a mess and don’t worry about the food coming out perfectly. If you stress over these little things than the entire project will be less enjoyable for both of you. Give your child lots of praise as they are fixing their dish and show them the proper way to use the utensils and measuring cups. Remember that it is not just about making a mess but it is about them learning the proper way to do things. If you start baking with your child when they are young and allowing them to help in the kitchen they will look forward to it and truly enjoy it. At this young age you are introducing them to new things, so be sure to make it fun and enjoyable along the way.
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