There are certain skills that parents should always try to help their kids to learn, and a lot of these things may not be learned in school, either. By getting children involved in daily activities around the house, you are setting them up well for later in life when they need to be more independent.
As parents, we’re all just trying our best to work out how to give our children the best chance and plenty of information, and helping to pick up some basic skills for cooking food can make all the difference.
Cooking Skills Every Kid Show Know
Let’s dive into the skills that we think every kid should know by a certain age (around 10), and this will help you to work out the sort of kitchen activities you get your little ones involved in.
Cutting Skills 101
Time to take your kids through the cutting skills needed in the kitchen. There will come a time when they will need to chop things, and though not every recipe calls for it, you should take the time to teach your child to chop.
This is something to be done with extreme caution. It’s one of the biggest problems and potential risks in the kitchen, so gradually ease your child into it, make sure they know the risks, and don’t get them to use sharp knives.
Cutting skills can be about more than just technique, too, so take the time to teach your child about hygiene and the fact that you shouldn’t necessarily use the same knife to cut multiple foods in the kitchen.
Measure and Mix
When it comes to baking, not being able to measure and mix can lead to big problems with following recipes and can mean that your bread, cakes, and other treats don’t rise or bake properly.
Almost every baking recipe will require you to measure out the ingredients, so teaching your child how to weigh is a good starting point. You should also teach them different mixing techniques in order to create the perfect baked goods.
This ties in closely with the following recipes, and you should make sure you help your child to understand the different measurements used in the kitchen (what is a “cup” in measurement terms, for instance?).
What are the very basics of baking? This will come down to things like setting the temperature of the oven, using a rolling pin, and possibly even kneading.
One of the most important baking basics is to learn how to follow and understand a recipe. Some types of cooking allow you to recover easily if you make mistakes or follow your instincts for creating a delicious dish, but baking isn’t very forgiving. One of the most important basics to teach is the importance of timing and following recipes.
How to Bake Something Sweet
This is one of the few skills where everyone can have some fun, both with baking and eating. Though you won’t want your kids to be eating sweet treats all the time, they can form part of a balanced diet. Getting out your favorite cookie cutters and creating some beautiful cookies to share with the family can be a great way to teach the kids how to bake. Cookie recipes tend to be pretty simple and allow you to experiment a little bit, too.
Handle Raw Meat with Care
Hygiene has already been mentioned a couple of times in this post, but it is so important. If you are teaching your children to cook anything with raw meat, you must take the time to explain the risks to them.
Practicing excellent hand washing, having a specific knife and chopping board to use for raw meat, and knowing how to wash the equipment properly while avoiding any sort of contamination is crucial. Certain types of meat are also worse than others when it comes to risk. Salmonella and other potential issues that can stem from raw meat are not something you want to take any chances with.
It’s not good to scare children away from wanting to bake, so make sure that you don’t get too paranoid. Just practice excellent hygiene and have a strong system to make sure meat is properly cooked and doesn’t contaminate surfaces. Cleaning might not be glamorous, but it sure is important.
Setting and Clearing the Table
One of the simplest tasks you can teach a kid, this is perfect to start with before anything else. A little caution is required, but generally, setting and clearing the table is pretty straightforward.
If you like things done a certain way, this is a chance to impart that knowledge to your children too, and it is always a good idea to be clean, meaning clearing the table once everyone has eaten.
About the Author
Jordan River is an experienced baker as well as an event management specialist. She went into a marketing and customer care role, working with JB Cookie Cutters to educate and share her experience. She’s had her fair share of kitchen and cooking tools and knows exactly what works best and why.