Who has not heard their kids say at least once “Mommy, I'm not eating this”? Especially when it comes to eating vegetables, children often flatly refuse to eat them, squeeze in just a few bites, or do not even want to try what they see on the plate. Arguments such as “But it is good for you!” are not convincing enough for kids to give the meal another chance.
But do not worry – with a level head and a few cooking tricks up your sleeve, you can gradually make your kids enjoy zucchini, peppers, asparagus, etc.
In this blog post, we give you tips about cooking with and for children and show you delicious and healthy recipes that will make all children’s eyes light up!
Probably the most important advice is to never give up! It is scientifically proven that children have to get used to the taste of different foods before they perceive them to be tasty. According to studies, the food needs to be eaten up to 35 times. This sounds like a lot at first, but don't be discouraged! With a little willpower and patience, sooner or later, you can make your kids discover and enjoy various healthy foods.
If you are never eating carrots, then how do you expect your kids to eat them? Lead by example and eat the foods that you would like your kids to eat. The more often children see their parents, grandparents, or older siblings eating vegetables, the higher the chance that they will also eat them.
It is easier than you think to sneak in some healthy foods into your kids’ beloved meals. If you puree them, it is easy to hide fruit and vegetables, for example, in soups, sauces, or smoothies. Fruit can also be easily mixed into pastries, such as muffins. There are so many tricks you can use: how about swapping meat for fish in your beloved burger? Or adding a crispy cheese crust to the vegetable bake? Try it out and tap into our community for some recipe inspiration!
What is cooler than a sandwich? A sandwich with a face! They won’t mind that the eyes are made of the perhaps not so beloved cucumbers.
There are numerous ways how you can make meals more visually appealing, colorful and fun. Turn tomatoes into ladybugs, buns into turtles, or apples into cute octopuses – see for yourself and try out these delicious children’s recipes!
Kids are naturally curious, easy to excite, and enjoy helping – why not just involve them in the cooking process? Even smaller children can help with simple activities and develop an understanding of healthy eating. Cooking can keep your kids entertained for extended periods, and you can prepare lunch or dinner at the same time. We’ve put together for you below a few points to keep in mind when cooking together with your kids so you can make sure the experience is enjoyable for you and your kids (and you have a nice meal as a result).
Cooking with children takes longer. You should therefore allocate plenty of time in advance to prepare delicious meals together with your kids. If time is scarce, it is better to postpone the cooking session to another time.
Cooking with kids can be messy. Kids should therefore wear clothes that are OK to get dirty. How about homemade, colorful children’s aprons or daddy’s old T-shirt? If your kids have long hair, it should be tied up so that it does not get in the way of cooking.
What would you like to cook together with your children? It is best to pick a simple recipe where the kids can safely do simple tasks, such as stirring soups and sauces or kneading dough. Children can also help to prepare ingredients by weighing food, washing fruit and vegetables, or plucking herbs.
Older children can also be given more demanding tasks, such as peeling fruit and vegetables, turning whatever is in the pan, or cutting soft foods. However, you should always keep an eye on the kids to ensure they are safe.
The safety of the kids always comes first! There are many dangers lurking in the kitchen when cooking, including scalding from hot water, cuts from sharp knives, or burns from the oven or stove. Various child safety locks are available for stoves, drawers, and cupboard doors to help reduce the risk of injury.
If you have small kids, use the rear burners on your stovetop, whenever possible, and turn pan handles backwards to keep them away from children’s exploring hands to prevent injury.
Electrical equipment should also be out of reach and in a dry area to avoid electric shock. Kids can also injure themselves on sharp knives when filling the dishwasher. It is, therefore, important to put knives in the dishwasher with the tip pointing downwards and close the dishwasher immediately.
When cooking together, kids can learn more than just practical skills. It is also ideal for passing on knowledge about food and nutrition. Where does the mango come from? Which fruits and vegetables can be harvested locally? Do strawberries grow on bushes or trees? This makes learning easy and more fun at the same time!
The veggies are a bit burnt? The kitchen floor is covered with flour? Kids’ clothes have sauce stains all over them? Do not lose your cool! When cooking with kids, having fun and spending time together is more important than perfect results! When kids are praised for their cooking skills, they feel encouraged and will continue to enjoy spending time with you in the kitchen.
Grab your kids and get in the kitchen! If you still need a little recipe inspiration, we have a few suggestions for you below that are guaranteed to be a hit with the kids! Try them out and share with us your tips for cooking with kids in the forum.