Involving your child in the activities of the household is very important for his development. He must learn that everybody that lives in the house must help with cleaning, cooking and every other chore that must be done. He might not like each activity equally but the important part is that he tries to do each of them and then be able to get involved more in the ones that he enjoys most. He doesn’t have to do everything but he must do some things.
It’s important to involve him in these activities in order to develop his independence, self-esteem and confidence. He won’t be able to do everything that the grown-ups do, but he will see that he is gradually able to do things better and take on more responsibility. Here are some ways you can make your child interested in cooking and involve him in this activity:
Make it fun. Cooking should not be linked to punishments. Children should link cooking to a fun, entertaining activity that the whole family can enjoy.
Use colors! A colorful dish is way more attractive for children. Try to use colorful ingredients so you can make food look interesting. And you don’t even need to bake a colorful cake, even salads can look colorful and pretty.
Involve the whole family. Even if it’s not possible to make all family members cook together every time, try to make sure that everybody will get a chance to participate. Your child should see that everybody can enjoy cooking and it’s not a gender based activity.
Make it a routine. Try to make cooking together at least a weekly activity so he can become familiar with this activity. Eating at a restaurant is comfortable and fun but teaching your child to cook helps him develop his self-esteem, creativity and his motric skills.
Link food to relatable benefits. You can mention how healthy food helps your body so he can link ingredients to positive and relatable benefits. Give constant examples like the fact that carrots help you see better, which of course is important if he wants to draw and watch cartoons!
Be a good example. Don’t be lazy. Try to cook from time to time so your child is able to see that cooking is a normal and fun activity in your household.
Share food. If you share what you cook and your child sees that other like his food and pay him compliments, he will most likely want to cook more. Praise is great for motivation at any age.
Don’t force it. Don’t make him cook too often or punish him when he doesn’t want to participate. Make it look like fun and praise him when he does participate.
Mix it up. Be creative and choose new recipes and new ingredients constantly so you don’t get bored in the kitchen.
Make gradual progress. Start with simple chores like mixing ingredients with a spoon in a bowl to actually cutting with a knife and even letting your child cook on his own. It’s overwhelming and even dangerous to start with complicated tasks so adapt each task to his abilities and experience.
Keep it tasty! Health is important and cooking with fresh ingredients that are full of vitamins and minerals is essential for your family’s health. But food should not become boring. Children will eat anything if you make it tasty, so choose healthy and tasty ingredients.