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Self-Improvement & Hobbies

Child’s play - Little chefs at work

If you are not able to keep an eye on your kids while cooking dinner, why not get them involved in the kitchen? Little chefs make the cutest apprentices!
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - October 15, 2009
By: Goh Mei Yi
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Child’s play - Little chefs at work

Eating together is a good bonding opportunity for the family, and parents can extend the bonding activities by getting the kids to help prepare meals. Spending time in the kitchen together also allows you to sneak in lessons about food and nutrition, as well as counting and reading skills. Some parents take this chance to introduce new foods to fussy eaters, who may be less resistant to trying it since they have cooked it.

With rookie chefs at work, expect some spills and mess along the way. Be patient with them and factor in more time than usual to complete a dish. Choose a day when you can afford to spend more time in the kitchen, so you won’t need to produce dinner in a hurry.

It’s easier to get younger children interested in this project if you prepare something that they enjoy eating. But you might have to do some prep work in advance so that the kids won’t get bored sitting around waiting to get to work. You can give them easy tasks like stirring batter, beating eggs or setting the table.

If you’re making pizza or sandwiches, you can lay out all the ingredients in an assembly line and let them choose their own toppings or fillings.

Older children can be more involved. Let them select a recipe out of a cookbook. Help them make a list of ingredients needed and help them locate the ingredients in the kitchen or shop. You can get them to do tasks like measuring and counting ingredients, washing vegetables and reading out the cooking instructions.

Always supervise children in the kitchen and establish some kitchen rules about safety like washing hands before handling food, and not touching appliances, hot stoves and knives if no adult is around.

After the cooking is done, enlist their help in cleaning up. Compliment your young chefs on a job well done.

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