How Cooking Keeps Children Busy
Step 1: Combining business with pleasure
Step 2: Kids in the kitchen: the tigers are loose!
Step 3: Be vigilant
Step 4: 2 recipe ideas for cooking with kids
Step 5: What’s next?
One of the main concerns of a babysitter is to keep them occupied. Have you thought about getting them to do a little cooking? Our tip takes stock.
1. Combine the useful with the pleasant
A childminder or nanny has to prepare food for the children every day. She is then confronted with 2 difficulties:
How to keep them busy while she cooks?
How to convince them to eat a balanced meal?
The babysitter’s mission is to entertain the children with unusual activities.
For these two childcare professionals, cooking can be a solution!
2. Children in the kitchen: the tigers are let loose!
Experimenting with tastes and textures is a real adventure. These discoveries whet their curiosity and might even make them want to eat vegetables or taste them! So let’s get cooking!
For children: discoveries
For children, cooking has many advantages:
First, they do what grown-ups do, not to their displeasure.
Secondly, they learn how meals are prepared and enrich their knowledge of fresh and unprocessed products:
- Potatoes are not pre-cut into French fries.
- Radishes have edible leaves.
- Fish is not a breaded square.
Finally, they enjoy “getting their hands dirty”.
For adults: support and imagination
For adults, there are also benefits:
It’s not motivating to be alone in the kitchen while you hear the kids having fun.
You can indulge your sweet tooth and imagination when you cook with a child. For example, wouldn’t the traditional chocolate cake be prettier if you decorated it with colorful candies?
3. Be vigilant
However, be careful: the kitchen is not a safe place for a child, especially when he or she is cooking. It is, therefore, necessary to supervise them and to offer them recipes adapted to their age:
The little ones will enjoy making a yogurt cake. The measuring cup doesn’t break; you must mix all the ingredients with a whisk.
Older children can try more elaborate recipes.
Good to know: in any case, all manipulations requiring the use of a knife or the oven should be done by an adult.
4. 2 recipe ideas for cooking with children
One of the classic recipes for cooking with children is cakes. Measuring the ingredients in the measuring bowl is a precision activity they love!
We also recommend the following recipes:
For 24 shortbread cakes, or about 5 people. Mix the following ingredients, and the kids will enjoy handling the cookie cutters:
150 g flour;
75 g powdered sugar;
75 g butter, not melted and left at room temperature beforehand;
1 pinch of salt;
Add flour, sugar, butter in small pieces, and salt while mixing. Quickly add the egg to this sandy mixture. Form into a ball.
Good to know: at this point, it is suggested to let the dough rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This may be an excellent time to send them off for a nap, explaining that the recipe calls for this. They will have the promise of finishing the shortbread right after!
Before they wake up, preheat the oven to 200°C:
With their help, roll out the dough to about ½ cm thick. Be patient!
Then let their imagination run free to use cookie cutters, upside-down glasses, or cups as they please!
Bake for 10 minutes and take them out when they are golden.
Here, no cooking is required, and it’s a game to mix the ingredients:
Cut up the tomatoes and other slightly difficult raw vegetables yourself.
Let the children make small pieces of soft cheese (goat), ham, or eggs with a round-tipped knife or crumble fish (tuna).
Let them mix whatever they like! Corn, surimi, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and chicken cubes are all ingredients that are easy to handle.
Good to know: you can also make toasts on which they will place a slice of goat cheese and add some herbs, salt, and pepper. Quick and easy to make.
5. What happens next?
The child you are looking after becomes a real little chef?
So much the better, you will have given him a taste for cooking!
If you have to give him a present for his birthday, you should know that there are gastronomic kits with recipes and utensils adapted for children, from $20.
If they are not old enough to care for everything, you can introduce them to washing a pan or a spatula. You can also teach them to wash dishes after cooking; it is customary to go through this step! They will be proud to have participated from start to finish!