Christmas meals are special. They are often remembered because of the people sharing the meal.
It can be more special if more share in the preparation of the meal, though the kitchen can become.. crowded and confusing, but this makes it more fun also.
Allowing more to contribute to the meal, makes them feel a part of things.
Children can be so excited if they know they have apart to play with the meal that everyone is looking forward to.
I always encourage parents to have their children play more of a part in the kitchen, no not the clean up.. sheish.
It really isn’t too soon to learn to cook.
If you can hold a spoon, you can start.
The smiles are fun to watch, don’t be grumpy and just clean up the mess. 😉
I have taught courses on how to get children more involved in making meals. I am tricky too as I sneak in more lessons than either parent or child know.
Even if they make chicken cordon bleu… red
I have seen so many students in University that have a hard time boiling water without burning it…. no really.
If they can have an interest, a bit sooner, they gather some basic skills that allow them to manage, this can enhance their skills, cooking will not scare them.
I have taught parents to allow their children to make meals for the family, this means planning the meal… even shopping for it, with a budget.
A limited budget.
Because in life, we don’t have limitless funds for everything, to learn sooner how to adapt, is a sneaky way to see that you really can do so.
The sneaky part is to give the child, slightly less money than they need, so that they have to shop smarter, to change something, to look for specials or another item that works just as well.. but costs less.
This makes them proud, and excited to show their parent that they can do it. Children love to prove to their parents that they can do things.
Sometimes they even have extra money left over, that they can keep. Just like in real life. It makes them try really hard. not just to impress, but to have extra money.
It also makes the parent closer to the child, it is a together time. Even though the child is turned loose on the kitchen, but they can ask the parent questions. It makes a common interest item, not a video game on their phone that they play.. and ignore Mom, or a blog they write on.. and ignore daughter. Just normal life activities, but not together things. Leaning to cook, budget, shop.. becomes a common interest. It becomes exciting for both Mother and daughter… or son.. or father too.
I shared this with someone a while ago. She was excited to try it with her daughter. She would tell me what she made the next day, she was so proud. She would giggle a bit, but she said the food tasted so grand.
I am sharing this portion from one of the emails she sent me, because it will make you smile. I thought about removing names, but, well…
Rach made chicken cordon bleu …. it turned out sooooooo bizzare looking, but tasted YUMMERS! And the most coolest part? She made it *smiles*
Oh … she ONLY spent $9.47!!!! Holy crap! We already had honey and bread crumbs and dijon mustard and most everything else. She had to buy chicken breasts and swiss cheese and ham. We had everything else. (I made dessert.) And it WAS SUPER creative, cost effective, AND a fairly healthy meal. BIG BIG WIN all around. So I told her she gets to keep the $30.53 … all of it. She was soooo happy. And she was proud of her meal too. And I was too. It was a GREAT meal and a GREAT learning experience … for ME. Now I know she pays some attention *smiles*
She was so Proud! She told me of each meal that was made, how great it turned out. As we planned some challenges for R, K was excited in the planning, the tiny tricks she was going to sneak in, the ideas, but so much more excitement, with what R made, and that R was proud of what she made too.
A big win win.