Teaching Kids to Cook: 4 Moms

moms of many manageWelcome to this weeks edition of 4 Moms, 35 Kids: How Moms of Many Manage.  This week the 4 Moms are talking about teaching children to cook. For how we incorporate teaching our kids to cook from the time they are preschoolers and lots more information about teaching kids to cook be sure to read Kids in the Kitchen.

Since I already posted most of my ideas on this topic, I’ll talk a little about teaching children who are already capable of following a recipe how to menu plan and prepare meals on their own.

Once our children are able to follow recipes we have them move into cooking roles with a little more responsibility.

Breakfast is generally the first meal that we turn over to newer chefs. Eventually our breakfast person decides on the weekly breakfast menu, ensures the ingredients needed are on the grocery list and then prepares breakfast each Monday through Friday morning.

When a child first takes over breakfast responsibilities, I sit down with them with our list of favorite breakfasts and help them pick out five meals that they will prepare each week.

Some of our breakfast choices:

  • Eggs, sausage or bacon and toast, sourdough English muffins or biscuits
  • Soaked Oatmeal –
  • Dutch Puff with fruit
  • Green smoothies with sourdough English muffins
  • Sourdough pancakes
  • Baked Oatmeal
  • Cheese toast and applesauce
  • Homemade granola
  • Egg burritos
  • Coffee cake with fruit

Alyssa (11) has been responsible for breakfasts for quite a while (honestly, it’s time for Carter (10) to move up) and she is enjoying being more creative and generally plans a different breakfast menu each week. She has also been scouring recipe books to find new things to make.

Having a child responsible for breakfast each morning begins to teach them the skills needed to ensure that multiple items are hot and ready to serve at the same time.

After a child has mastered breakfast, we give them an opportunity to try their hand at dinner.

We teach them these skills much as I shared in Kids in the Kitchen by working side-by-side in the planning and preparation stages, then having them take responsibility as they are able and eventually they are on their own planning, making grocery lists and preparing dinners for 12 without much thought.

Since most of our cooking is from scratch using traditional preparation (soaking grains and legumes and a lot of fermented foods) and all sourdough, we have found it tremendously useful to have a weekly chart of what preparations need to be done when.

Our chart has a space for AM prep, mid-day prep, the dinner menu and PM prep for each day of the week. This allows us to combine some prep steps (like making chicken broth) and helps us remember things that need to be done ahead of time (like feeding the sourdough starter, soaking grains or putting together a ferment). This chart helps both me and the children keep track of what needs to be done.

Now link up and tell us how you are teaching your children to cook.

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You may also be interested in:

Be sure to visit the other 4 Moms to read what they have to say about this topic:

KimC at Life in a Shoe
Connie at Smockity Frocks
Headmistress at The Common Room

For more Moms of Many posts visit the 4 Moms page.

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3 Responses to Teaching Kids to Cook: 4 Moms
  1. Nicole @ Faith In Small Things
    June 2, 2012 | 9:54 pm

    I love this post! As a child I never wanted to help in the kitchen…this resulted in me having to learn to cook completely from scratch as an adult. Now, when my children want to help me in the kitchen I’m always so surprised! One of my daughters really loves helping me out and I just adore the pride she has in the food she helps prepare!

    [Reply]

  2. Mama G
    June 7, 2012 | 1:45 am

    Great topic! Any thoughts on what age to let kids use the stove top and oven? My oldest is six. —
    Nicole

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hmm, we just let our children use them when they seem ready and that’s been different ages for different children.

    I’m pretty sure that some of ours may have used the stove top by age 6, but I would not be comfortable with our current 5 year old using it in a couple of months when he turns 6. I would say to let them help and when you feel that they are capable and careful enough to let them have a try and then supervise to see how they do.

    [Reply]

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