1. Cooking class
Cooking with Children. Children do not know how to cook. Or how to behave in the kitchen. That is why they must be taught. There is no room for experimenting. Or fiddling about. Discipline and attention are fundamental. Never leave any initiative to young learners. Simply because they do not know how to handle that.
Cooking involves all senses at ones. The magic lays in coordinating them. Your task, as an accompanying adult, is delicate. A initial cooking experience can easily transform in a lifelong dislike of cooking.
Important is that, while cooking, they may mess up the kitchen and their hands.
Use the normal ingredients. Even if it puts children off. Onions, garlic, chili pepper. Once the first hurdle is overcome, the rest is…child’s play.
3. Catch 'em cooking young
More than teaching young children, you should make them used to the kitchen. Make them understand the rules, the consequences. Do not allow them to claim credit for something they did not do themselves. ‘I helped preparing a cake’ instead of ‘I made a cake’. Children love participating much more than we acknowledge for.
4. Not pretend to be cooking
Give children real knives to cut with. It is utterly frustrating handling blunt knives. Tell them how to use it. Cutting a carrot with a butter knife instead of a normal one, is probably more dangerous. And certainly frustrating. Try it yourself.
And since heat is inherent to cooking, let them feel it. Warn them of eminent danger instead of avoiding. And have a first aid-kit ready. Do not let them use the cooker until they are tall enough.
5. Practise makes perfect
Let children make mistakes. Over and over again. And confront them with failure. No need to exaggerate though. Bin burnt cakes for example. Preparing food is a fundamental skill in life. And a skill, different from talent, is acquired over time. Your task: make that time pleasant.