I always told myself that my children will develop independence in the kitchen from a young age. I love cooking and I hope to pass the skill and passion on to them. More importantly, I want them to understand what goes into a well-prepared meal: Precision. Time. Care. Love.
For most of the meals and treats I make, one or both of them will stand beside me, ready to pour and mix ingredients (especially if it means a chance to lick a spoon). At this point, however, my six-year-old is showing signs of wanting more control over the kitchen for himself. When he decides he wants food, he’ll go in and make a sandwich or flavorsome toasted bread. He’s now tall enough for the microwave, and therefore finds any excuse to utilize it.
This makes sense to me. By eight or nine years old I remember learning how to make an omelet completely on my own, and from there I continued to build upon my cooking and baking abilities. He’s definitely getting to the age of independence.
I want to encourage this. Not only does it take a burden off of me when he’s able to put together a snack for himself and his sister, but it’s a skill he needs to develop. I want him to know his way around the kitchen, and I hope to foster his interest in making food.
I wanted to find a bunch of recipes specifically meant for children to prepare by themselves, but I was honestly disappointed with the options I came across. Sweet treats seemed to be the common theme for many of these recipes. While desserts are fun for special occasions, I want options I don’t mind him eating throughout the day. After all, this is something he doesn’t necessarily need permission to make. Of the healthier options I found, they mostly concentrated on arranging fruits, vegetables, and dip in cutesy designs. I don’t necessarily need a party platter here…just a little snack he can put some effort into whipping up.
So, it is now my mission to create a collection of recipes for small children. The idea is to essentially choose a snack for the week, demonstrating how to prepare it on Monday, leave the step by step instructions on the fridge, and allow him full reign when preparing that snack throughout the week. We’re in week one of trying this out and so far it’s going well.
It helps that I picked a great snack to start us out: Fruit Tacos.
The instructions are easy to follow and require little skill. As we continue building our recipe collection, the complicity will grow. For now, this is perfect! Even my 3 year old can do it.
Look out for more recipe ideas I have for little kids, and maybe I’ll even discuss some must-have kitchen gadgets that make cooking with kiddos both easier and safer.