We all know that children learn through play and being hands-on helps their cognitive development. The more a child plays with a toy or goes through a process the better they understand it. The same applies for food and in particular the preparation of food. The more a child is hands-on and exposed to food during preparation, the more likely they are to want to eat it.
The following tips are a great way to involve your kids in food preparation and may even encourage your fussy eater to give the food a try:
- Start by making sure your child knows what you are going to make and when they will get to eat it. Are you making banana muffins to enjoy for afternoon tea? Or perhaps you’re preparing the vegetables to be served at dinner? When they have a clear idea of the outcome, kids will be more enthusiastic to help reach it.
- Give your child tasks that are within their capabilities. Perhaps they can get some of the ingredients out, wash the vegetables in the sink ready to be chopped up, or hold the measuring cup for you to fill with flour and then tip in the bowl. Don’t underestimate their abilities either. Give your child an egg to crack into a cup and see how they go. Practice makes perfect!
- A great tool to help your child feel involved is a learning tower that they can stand on safely and securely while helping out at the kitchen bench. They will feel more involved if they are at a comfortable height where they can reach and you can enjoy the process knowing they are safe.
- Let them make a mess! Don’t worry about the split flour or the egg that didn’t make it into the bowl. Your child will be learning through each task and mess is all part of the process.
Involving your kids in the preparation of a meal or snack is a great way to expose them to different foods, textures and tastes. It’s also a great bonding experience. Be sure to sit and enjoy the prepared food together and talk about what you’ll make next time.
If you’re in Brisbane and would like more tips and tricks to engage your kids with food, visit me for a consultation