The kitchen is the best place for children to get messy and a better way to encourage them to learn more about food than to get stuck to a recipe with mom or dad.
And those picky little eaters? Let’s say these tasty tricks might open their minds and mouths for a whole new world of flavors.
Step 1. Let them experiment
Watermelon soaked in pumpkin puree may not be your idea of tasty, but sometimes you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette.
Research even shows that mixing vegetables with other foods can be beneficial for the developing palate of children, and can lead to a gradual acceptance of vegetables through flavor taste and flavor feeding teachings.
Let the children mix a culinary storm and create as many unusual (or delicious) flavors as they want – maybe you discover new flavor combinations along the way!
Step 2. Role play your soufflé
Role play is an important part of the development of the child, building trust, communication, creativity, problem solving and emotional development. Moreover, it is fun.
You can create and bake together so that your mini-cook can mimic your actions and instructions as your eggs creak, swing and mix. Bring the experience to life by investing in a few mini-utensils, an apron from a chef and a number of pint-size bowls.
Are you stuck to cooking ideas? View Nickelodeon’s Butterbean’s Café together on Nick Jr. This magical TV series led by culinary fairy Butterbean serves tasty ideas, activities and inspiration for both parents and children.
With special guest appearances by top-notch chefs and culinary experts in every episode, the show stimulates creativity with food, social-emotional learning and sharing.
Step 3. Shop together
If you or your child are more ‘right brain creative’ than ‘left brain logistics’, you do not have to worry, this shopping expedition would not be a logistical nightmare and your little one will benefit greatly from it.
Choose your recipe, write down your shopping list, grab your reusable shopping bags and go to the supermarket.
Encourage your child to take the lead by going through the list of ingredients, adding goodies to the cart before you can refresh your math skills at the checkout. This will help to build their self-confidence around grocery shopping.
Step 4. Enjoy the fruits of your labour
Do not bother the party! Cooking is about the journey and the destination – the pleasure of creating and creating together, and the result of sharing food together as a family.
It does not matter if the potatoes are moister than crispy or that the salad is accidentally over-coated. And who cares if the muffins are still doughy in the middle and a bit too brown on top!
Taste, enjoy, enjoy the flavors, the texture, the smell and the experience. If the result is a total flunk, laugh and try again tomorrow.
For more inspiration, turn on the kids’ TV series Butterbean’s Café by Nickelodeon, the only preschool TV series that delivers children’s passion for cooking and at the same time provides inspiration for child-friendly cooking activities. Workdays at 8.30 am on Nick Jr.