Cooking at Home with Children
May 13, 2021
Over the last 12 months, many of us have been cooking at home more than ever. Google searches for “family recipes” and “easy family dinners” have seen a 110% increase over the past year. Encouraging children to start cooking at a young age can help build confidence, teach them about nutrition and offer some great family time.
Surprisingly, despite all the clear benefits, there are plenty of parents who aren’t getting their kids involved in the kitchen. The Kitchen Confidence Survey found that although 90% of parents believe it’s important for their kids to cook, less than half of U.S. parents cook with their kids monthly.
In light of the statistics, Wren Kitchens has teamed up with parenting coach, Isobel Mary Champion, to highlight the best ways to get your little ones – and your clients’ children – involved in cooking at home.
1. Let your child help you cook! Depending on their age, you can find appropriate ways to invite them to get involved. Children will happily assist with finding recipes, fetching ingredients, stirring, sprinkling, serving and even washing up in a sink full of warm foamy water! And baking with children is a great way to introduce them to the joys of cooking from an early age.
2. Always consider safety. When designing a family-style kitchen, perspectives will need to shift to include safety and accessibility as well as aesthetics. Ensuring that a kitchen has out-of-reach, child-safe storage – such as door safety catches – is important so parents can ensure their children’s safety as they begin exploring the kitchen. An accessible and practical sink area is important, and many choose a pull-down faucet to clean those sticky fingers, as well as hardwearing, deep ceramic sinks.
3. Let children explore and examine food in all its weird and wonderful forms. When you buy your groceries, don’t be too quick to put them away. Let your child touch, smell, hold (and potentially taste!) different kinds of fruit and vegetables, different shapes of pasta and different-sized tins and packets. Living herbs are also a fascinating addition to any kitchen.
4. Keep it clean. On a child’s first few adventures in the kitchen, things are bound to get messy, so ensure the design considers easy-to-clean furnishings, cabinets, non-porous countertops and non-slip flooring
5. Give your child a “toy kitchen” range to encourage imaginary play, complete with toy pots, pans, plates and food items. This can be really nice to have in your own kitchen (if you have space!) so that your child can “cook” alongside you – this will encourage them to start their culinary journey early!