My boys love helping me plan meals and cook. They are excited to try new recipes and love learning new ways of doing things. Here are a few tips to get boys excited about learning how to cook.
Cooking With Boys
Knowing how to cook is one of the life skills that everyone should have before leaving the house, but sadly a lot of children are never taught how to do more than open a box, boil some pasta and make a sauce out of powdered cheese (If they even learn that). There are a lot of activities competing for my boys’ attention , but here are a few simple things that I have done to get my boys excited about learning how to cook different foods. Hopefully I’m preparing them now so when they leave home they will know how to prepare basic meals.
Tips to Help Boys Learn to Cook
My boys started helping in the kitchen as soon as they could stand up on a stool and reach. The picture below is my youngest when he was about 18 months old (Wow, he needed a haircut. I just couldn’t cut it!). He would stand up next to the mixer and use spoons to tap his “ingredients” in. He really felt like he was cooking and he loved it. One of the first jobs I give my boys is to put in the ingredients I have measured out and turn on and off the mixer. And now my older boys can peel and cut vegetables and make a variety of baked goods. It is wonderful!
2.Start with Baking
Baking is a pretty easy way to teach kids how to cook. When my oldest was young, he loved getting muffin or cookie mixes so he could mix them up for us. I taught him how to crack eggs by having him practice into a separate bowl to make sure the shells didn’t get in.(And always make sure they wash their hands when handling eggs!) We also love making pancakes and pancakes are perfect for teaching kids to use a spatula. I have an electric griddle that is nice and flat and makes flipping pancakes easier. Baking is a great way to practice math skills as well since you can test your kids on conversions and fractions while you bake.
Here are a few of our favorite easy baking recipes:
- Pirate Pancakes (What boy wouldn’t love these!)
- Puppy Pancakes Pancakes are one of the simplest things to teach kids to make.
- Fruity Rainbow Crispy Treats or Chocolate Marshmallow Crispy Treats
- The EASIEST Glazed Donut Recipe EVER!
- The BEST Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies
3.Give Them Their Own Tools
There are so many great kitchen tools out there that boys will love. I’m thinking a few of these Superhero Spatulas will be showing up in our stockings this year. And how fun are these Superhero Aprons? I also just discovered The Curious Chef and I am in love with the fact that they have cooking utensils and knives that children can use safely and that are built for smaller hands. (With adult supervision of course!) Their Pizza Kit looks like something my boys would really enjoy. And how adorable is this Chef Costume for your littlest chef? They might not be able to do as much actual cooking, but they can learn to love cooking through play (and look really cute while doing it!)
Here are a few of our favorite kitchen tools for kids:
4.Let Them Choose What You Make
We have always let my boys choose and help prepare our meals. When they get to choose what we are eating, they are more excited about helping us prepare. We also have a few fun specialty cookbooks that my boys think are cool. I think their favorite is the The Official DC Super Hero Cookbook and all of the different Star Wars cookbooks.
Here are some of our favorite cookbooks boys will love:
Trust me, I understand. You could have had dinner finished in no-time flat, but your child is taking FOREVER! It is so important to be patient and let them learn, even though it can be hard. Plan for a little bit extra preparation and clean-up time and don’t criticize if they are taking too long. It will pay off in the end when you start to get a break from making dinner.
6. Introduce Healthy Options
I try and get them to eat healthy and they are always more willing to eat their fruit and veggies if they have helped cook it. If your boys turn up their nose at the sight of veggies, here are 15 recipes for finicky eaters!
What is your best tip to get boys excited about learning to cook?
If you have a passion for teaching kids to cook, you should definitely check this out.
This post is a part of our series 31 Days of Tips for Raising Boys.