Do you enjoy preparing meals and cooking in the kitchen? Children love joining parents in things they do, so how about inviting your little one for the next kitchen session? You’ll need to adjust the tasks based on their age and skills. But as long as you develop the right approach, you’ll both enjoy preparing food. Here are the cooking skills children should focus on by the age of ten!
Cooking Skills Every Kid Should Know
If it’s your kid’s first time in the kitchen, start slowly. It’s enough to let them add a bit of salt to a meal. Perhaps you can give them a single ingredient to prepare. That’ll make them proud, and they’ll gladly share how they participated in food preparation. Working on cooking skills can improve their confidence, help them understand the importance of following directions, etc. Here is where children’s focus on cooking should be!
Setting & Clearing the Table
Children will learn that preparing and clearing the table is essential to a mealtime routine. They’ll discover how to position cutlery next to plates. You can challenge them to find a creative way to arrange napkins.
By introducing them to this part of the routine, your children will understand that the table can’t clean itself up magically. Instead, someone needs to remove and put them in the dishwasher.
Learn Cooking Terms
Children might not know the difference between baking and boiling. You should explain these basic terms, and it’s best to do that with examples. Come up with a meal schedule where you’d bake something today and then fry some food tomorrow. It’ll help your child better understand each process.
Here is a quick reminder of the terms you should cover:
- Boiling – Use high temperatures to heat the liquid until bubbles appear
- Frying – Add oil or fat to a pan and fry food in it
- Grilling – Use a barbecue to cook food, usually meat and vegetables
- Bake – Put the food in the oven and use a high temperature for cooking it
- Saute – Use a bit of oil or fat to cook veggies or meat until it gets a brown color
- Steam – Use a pressure cooker or another pan with a tightly closed lid to cook the food with steam.
Once the kid reaches age seven or eight, it’s time to move to basic knife skills. Please note knives are sharp objects, and you should be extremely careful trusting your kid with them. Rely on your judgment to decide when they are ready.
Always pick a small knife first, and you don’t have to go for the sharpest option. Teach them how to handle the knife, always holding it by the bolster and safely putting it away. Your child will love that they cut the bread to make a sandwich for breakfast!
Baking is easier to learn than frying, so leading with that is wise. You can explain to your child how the oven works, including buttons to adjust the temperature and baking modes. Don’t forget the importance of using the oven with care and carefully checking if the oven or the baking tray is hot before touching it. Next, you could cover essential baking recipes. Working with dough could be fun, and there are many options to keep it interesting.
Baking Something Sweet
Here is how to spice up the baking experience for your child. How about preparing biscuits shaped like a superhero? You can get your children’s favorite cookie cutters and use those molds to make the magic happen in your kitchen. Kids will learn how to work with cookie cutters, and they’ll love experimenting with different shapes.
Measure and Mix
Measuring and mixing is the true next step in participating in meal preparation. Children will learn about different measurements, such as ounces and cups. They’ll also learn how to read the marks on the measuring spoon, and these operations involve simple math, which is good for the school.
If you think they are ready, let them mix the ingredients. Small kids will enjoy it even if you are mixing the components together. Once they are ready, let them do the task independently. Don’t forget to point out they should hold the bowl and the mixer to avoid spilling!
Handle Raw Meat with Care
Working with raw meat requires special caution, and your child should learn that early. Point out that raw meat can’t touch any surface not specially intended for it. You can mark a cutting board for raw meat in a specific color and use only that one. If it happens to get in touch with another surface, it’s necessary to wash it thoroughly before using it again.
The entire point is for you to have a fun experience with your kid in the kitchen. Take things slowly and trust your judgment when they are ready for a specific task. Never leave your kids unattended in the kitchen, and be patient during the learning process. If you follow those directions, you’ll love every moment of cooking together!