Parents often are unsure how to first start cooking with kids because the kitchen can be a dangerous place.
There are sharp knives, hot stoves and lots of utensils that make it easy for a child (or adult!) to cut themselves.
Fortunately, you can acclimate your child to cooking at home when you keep the following points in mind. Be sure to NOT do the following items:
1) Use Knives That Are Too Big For Your Kids
Here’s a YouTube video I made on 3 types of knives to use that illustrates how to upgrade a child from a metal dinner knife to a small paring knife to a full on 8” chef knife. Be sure your knives are SHARP because a dull knife is actually more dangerous!
Why? A dull knife will not slice through zucchini or onion, and will instead bounce off the vegetable and then it could easily cut your hand.
2) Let Kids Use The Grater and Peeler
Granted, SOME kids can safely use a grater or peeler, but I recommend that you very closely supervise them while using these items. I personally cut myself on these two items more than ANY other tools.
When using the grater be sure to STOP before you get to the end of the cheese or vegetable you’re grating.
When using the peeler always peel AWAY from you.
Kids have to learn how to use these items safely.
3) Using the Stove top while unsupervised!
The stovetop is the key area for kids to develop confidence while cooking.
Just make sure YOU are watching them the whole time.
Better yet, while you are sauteing, have one-hand on the handle as your child stirs the food.
I have plenty of students who can saute on their own, but they have EARNED the right to be there after cooking 10 recipes a month in our Kids Can Cook Inner Circle for 3+ months.
4) Kids Are Overreaching! (adults make this mistake too)
I see this mistake a LOT. Adults will chop on a cutting board that isn’t directly in front of them…or use a stove that is on a burner far away from them.
You gotta think of cooking like you’re in a pilot seat, with everything you need within easy reach.
Cutting boards are directly in front of you, flanked by bowls to place your chopped items.
When you saute, you must have everything like salt, pepper, oil and chopped produce around and ready to go. Keep it close!
Since kids are smaller, they may need a booster stool to help them reach the table top or stove. Make sure they have easy access to everything they are using while cooking!
If you liked these tips and want to experience a FREE 60-minute LIVE healthy dinner cooking class taught by our amazing Chef Teachers on Zoom: go to www.liftenrichment.com to claim your free lesson
Chef Eric Horwitz