Cooking with 4 Year Olds
I love cooking with my 4 year old son and he loves it too. This article gives some ideas of things to cook with your 4 year old and how to introduce them to cooking.
Let Them Help with Cooking Everday!
Most parent and carers are cooking everyday. This is a great opportunity to introduce them to cooking. They don't have to be there to cook a meal from beginning to end but you can get them to help with various tasks. My 4 year old helps in the kitchen with the following:
- Pouring the contents of tins and other liquids and food into saucepans, mixing bowls etc. Even if it's just pouring beans into a saucepan it introduces them to an idea of what goes on in the kitchen.
- Stiring and mixing
- Cracking eggs - If your making omelettes, scrambled, cakes etc, let them crack an egg. The worst that can happen is a bit of shell gets into the mixture which you can then remove.
- Butter bread, toast and help make sandwiches. My son also loves cutting his sandwiches into different shapes, such as stars and circles using a biscuit cutter.
Cooking Savoury Meals with 4 Year Olds
There are lots of great savoury meals you can make with 4 year olds. If making a meal with a 4 year old, I would recommend you do as much preparation as you can beforehand. Measure out and chop up what you need. This will help keep their attention and will allow you to make less mess too. Here are some ideas of meals that are great to make with 4 year olds:
Pizza - You can buy ready made pizza bases. 4 year olds can help put on a tomato sauce base and sprinkle cheese and the toppings you choose on top of the base too. We also make pitta bread pizzas, which are smaller and just use pitta bread as the base.
Homemade chicken Nuggets - Get some strips of chicken. Cover each strip with flour, then egg and then day old breadcrumbs. You can make a kind of conveyer belt which my son loves helping with. Put them in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes (check they are fully cooked before eating).
Baking With 4 Year Olds
I quite often make fairy cakes with my son. He enjoys cracking the eggs in the bowl, stirring and mixing and putting the mixture into the cake tin. But what he loves most is decorating. You can make simple icing and then have sweets such as smarties, marshmellow or chocolate buttons to put on the top of the cakes. You can buy all kinds of different things to decorate cakes with, just check out your local supermarket. They're great to make and give to grandparents, friends, other children etc (otherwise you have a batch of cakes that your family has to eat all by themselves!)