Erin’s Tips for Cooking With Kids

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on March 6, 2014

Grilled Cheese Croutons.jpg

For the past few months, I’ve been sharing all kinds of fun and kid friendly cooking ideas and inspiration from Campbell’s Soup’s The Wisest Kid. And today, I thought I’d share my tips for cooking with kids and having little ones underfoot in the kitchen.

1. It starts with a great recipe.

The ingredients for a ‘great recipe to prepare with your kids’ are…

  • Easy to read and understand
  • Simple tasks, like adding ingredients to soup, mixing up the cheesy sauce for the mac n cheese, or assembling the grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Recipe where parent can be doing one thing, at the same time the child does another…and be finished twice as fast! i.e. child pours the soup in a pot while dad/mom/grandma/aunt chops the veggies, then child assembles the grilled cheese while adult monitors the hot soup and grills the sandwiches.

Here are a couple of ideas to try…

2. Next, you’ll need an extra dose of patience.

Y’all. Just like teaching your child to ride a bike, or learn their letters or times tables, it takes practice and patience. So does learning to crack an egg, open a can or cook pasta. It will take practice, a few mishaps, but when they get it right for the first time, enjoy the proud smile that fills your child’s face.

Note: Don’t try cooking with your kids when you’re highly stressed or had a bad day. It won’t end well for anyone.

Tips for Cooking with Kids

3. Make a mess and some memories too.

There will be many an egg that miss the bowl, or where the shell shatters into tiny pieces and the contents of the bowl must be dumped. It happens. It’s messy. And that’s OK. You’re preparing your child for life…teaching them how to cook.

And chances are when you your child in the future about some of their favorite memories in the kitchen…it will be the messiest ones they remember first. I’m sure The Wisest Kid would agree.

Finally.

Here’s some adorable inspiration from a dad and his daughters. (If this video was me with my boys, they’d have me dressed up in camo, with an airsoft gun in hand, running around the backyard chasing and shooting pretend snakes…and then I’d run inside to find the cookie cutters for the grilled cheese before calling them in for lunch!)

What are your tips for cooking in the kitchen with the kids?! What recipes do they love to help you prepare?!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Noel Lizotte March 6, 2014 at 8:02 pm

Excellent advice! I especially buy into the “make a mess, make memories” suggestion! There is nothing like powdered sugar blizzard everywhere to make a Christmas memory that lasts forever!

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Jodie March 8, 2014 at 4:55 pm

I’m wondering if anybody’s having a hard time (like I am) keeping under $5/meal with beef prices sky-rocketing. My husband talked me into buy that aweful, 73/27 ground beef, because it was all we could afford, so I’m planning to add fillers, and hope he doesn’t notice!

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