It is fun to cook with children

Cooking with small children can be a wonderful learning experience and a natural way for them to develop motor skills.

Cooking with small children can be a wonderful learning experience and a natural way for them to develop motor skills.

by Joanne Henning Tedesco — 

Recently, I was at my home in Washington state, helping prepare a family dinner. Soon, my niece and nephew’s children — ages 2 through 5 — pulled up stools and chairs and pitched in. By the time dinner was ready, there was a little (an understatement) flour on the floor, a lot on the kids and olives on each of their fingers.

Their excitement made the whole effort worthwhile, and after dinner they loved helping clean up. Water was everywhere and the floor was a mess, but the cutting boards had never been scrubbed so clean. We all had great fun and want to do it again soon.

Cooking with small children can be a wonderful learning experience and a natural way for them to develop motor skills. If you have never looked at cooking that way before, think again. There is a reason why kids have a universal love for cooking — just as they do for stacking blocks and banging pots.

Starting your kids out early as kitchen helpers has many advantages. For one, the younger they are, the more fun they are apt to have. They love to watch food change as it cooks. Developmentally, the mixing and measuring promote math skills. Letting them help in the kitchen also gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Here is a recipe they would love to help you with:

 

Banana Wrap

Ingredients:

  • 8-inch flour tortilla
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly or jam
  • 1 small banana, peeled

Preparation:

Heat a tortilla until it is soft and warm. Spread with peanut butter, then top with jelly or jam. Place banana near the edge of the tortilla. Fold the left edge of the tortilla over the banana. Bring the right edge over the banana and roll up.

 

Joanne Henning Tedesco is editor of AzNetNews.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 24, Number 6, December 2005/January 2006.

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