Ahhh. The sweet aroma of a new era. Well, I officially think the cooking era has begun and I can smell it. The smell of garlic alfredo angel hair has filled my kitchen. And I can’t wait to taste it.
Caleb is taking over my kitchen, and I am SO happy about it this among all the other independent skills he is moving into. I have mentioned this before in my previous posts-so many reasons why I love age 9 going on 10.
As they move into the double digits, they are becoming so self-sufficient and it is glorious: Picking out his own clothes, learning to mow the lawn, and probably my all-time favorite featured on a recent post: My son is an expert-in-training when it comes to assembling furniture.
This age is wonderful.
“Why is it called pasta-roni and not pasta-ghetti?” Caleb casually asked mid-stir. This chef-in-training is such a deep thinker.
I’ve always kept Caleb close to the kitchen. Even when he was a baby, I would have him watch me cook. I have made it a priority to have him familiar with the kitchen items I use, the meals we make, being involved with stirring and measuring along the way of baking cookies, etc. And today, it all pays off.
Get them involved in the kitchen on a routine basis
In the past couple years, I added responsibilities to warm him up:
-Loading his dishes in the dishwasher (by second grade) and quickly upgrading him to unloading all clean dishes and putting them away last year. (We haven’t lost too many glass cups due to Caleb accidentally dropping them. Mere sacrifices for the ultimate reward of a newfound skill acquired.)
-He sets the table (most nights).
-He follows directions which we all know is key to reading a recipe!
-He LOVES watching Kids Baking Champ on Food Network.
-I am currently teaching him to (slowly) chop veggies and fruits. This needs more work and I get nervous but very proud of his progress each time we do another lesson.
-He listens to the rules and follows them in the kitchen.
-He is aware what to look out for in the kitchen such as: watching out for pots that may need to be turned away from the stove’s edge, making sure there isn’t anything around the stove that could catch fire, knowing never to leave food unattended.
Keep the cooking momentum going
-I am encouraging him to pick out items to try at the grocery store
-We are picking out a cook book to test out new recipes
-I am giving him positive reinforcement!
Cooking with kids resources
I have read a number of articles on cooking with kids. Some things I am keeping in mind:
Before the age of 11, kids can’t anticipate events they haven’t experienced. If something happens in the kitchen unexpected, they are unprepared. They are not ready to anticipate what might go wrong and how to respond if something does. So, even if they are cooking regularly, they need close supervision. (Article: Community Health Strategies)
I read the Teaching Your Kids to Cook by Age website and learned that for 10- to 12-year-olds, “This age group can usually work independently in the kitchen.”
As Caleb added each ingredient to the pan, he kept checking the directions. I couldn’t be more proud during this moment because he truly kept on task and finished the recipe without help from me! I am so excited about this and have been combing Pinterest for recipe inspiration Caleb and I can use.
I plan to share easy recipes we are starting with to help encourage others to get their kids involved with cooking. I love being in the kitchen and am so happy to pass down this skill to my son so he can prepare healthy recipes and be prepared with such important life skills.
With that being said, CHEERS! Let the cooking era begin!
Show me what your kids are cooking! Tag me on Instagram @socialwithsarah_ & @Collincountymoms