Cooking with Kids

The title of this post probably gets you all excited at the prospect of some brand new ideas for cooking with your children.  Or not.  Perhaps it just makes you feel a little unwell, and then guilty because you  don't actually like cooking with your children.

Well, folks, if you're in the latter group, I'm right on there in it with you.

I know I should like it.  It's one of those "Good Mother" type of activities (like craft) but I find it stressful.  Especially with the preschooler who loves it but then makes a giant mess and so 'cooking' ends up taking me 10 times longer than it would have if I had done it on my own.  I try to limit her contribution to 'putting the patty cake cases into the muffin tin' but this is starting to not cut it (see photo).  On the weekend I let her use the electric beaters and put the mixture into the cases, so I don't think there's any way of retreating back to the less messy options now.

I have offered 'rubbing the butter into the flour' or 'greasing the tin' to my older kids - but they don't want to get their hands dirty!

I have to say, that despite my reluctance, my ten year old recently made cupcakes with a friend ('Have no cocoa? Oh well, let's make them anyway'...didn't quite work) and regularly makes salads for family dinners.

So once again, my brave children seeming to rising above the challenges of having me as their mother!


Pip said…
I cook with my kids (well only the middle one is really interested, the older one just turns up when it is time to lick the bowl). I see it as preparing for the future joy of not having to cook every meal every day...and maybe winning junior masterchef so we get a free holiday overseas ; )
Kate Percival said…
I'm not very good at sharing my cooking time. I see it as my down time and I find it incredibly relaxing, so to share the cooking space is not something I readily enjoy. PP is much better at the doing the baking and I usually wait until the holidays or the weekend to have a bonding cooking fest, preferably in the morning when I'm not tired. Kate
Jenny said…
Cunning plans Pip! I think that's what it is for me too Kate - I enjoy cooking but I enjoy it most when I'm on my own and not interrupted. Which is probably why I don't cook a lot of nice food - I just do what I absolutely need to so that we stay alive. Not particularly inspiring.
Karen said…
I'm the same. Cooking in our house is far less stressful when children are not involved in the process. Sometimes I get them to help stir things, pour out pre-measured stuff into the bowl and then they get to the lick the bowl at the end. Fortunately that's about as much as they are interested in, but they are boys. Not sure how I will go when the toddler daughter becomes interested...
Sandra said…
To try and encourage you all, the benefit of all the early agony is that by the time they are teenagers (and earlier) they are able to cook- we have just instituted a menu plan and roster so the kids are cooking at least twice a week.
We did purposely set up our kitchen so it was kid cooking friendly- we have a big island bench so it is easy to fit more than one person doing cutting, mixing etc.
Sandra said…
however, I must point out that there are other aspects of domestic training where I have failed dismally - the kids can clean but they constantly leave a trail of mess wherever they go and seem, on the whole, to be totally oblivious to it. We then have the whole agonising clean up times where you turn your back and someone is goofing off on the computer, reading a book etc etc.....anything but focusing on the task in hand that if the whole family contributed would only take 30 minutes.
Just so none of you think in any way that I am one of those totally unbelievable paragons.

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