– posted by Meghan
Cooking at our house is called “Dump and Stir”. Because I love to cook (and I’m home with the kids and am responsible for feeding 4 people at least three times a day), we’ve spent a lot of time together in the kitchen, basically since the day they were born. To relieve my own boredom, I would drag their little bouncey chairs into the kitchen whenever I had to cook anything and explain to them exactly what I was doing. It was basically my own cooking show (and as someone who used to pretend I had my own cooking show when I was 5, it was a skin I slipped easily back into). That’s probably why at 18 months my kids developed their own kitchen game, and by the time they were two, they could recite (in order) the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies. Today, their favorite thing to do is help me cook in the big kitchen, and to cook for themselves in their little kitchen.
There are a million reasons that cooking with your kids is a wonderful thing. It teaches numbers and math, nutrition, sharing and taking turns. It promotes literacy (Molly is as given to curling up with a cookbook to “read recipes” as she is with one of her board books) and economy. And most of all, it is just a fun thing to do together.
If you’re not a big cook, there are some really fun books about cooking that will get you and your kids excited. Our favorite (because it’s just the right age for us) is Monica Wellington’s Mr. Cookie Baker.
It’s a fun book with great pictures and cookie recipes at the end. I can’t vouch for the tastiness of the cookie recipes, since I have millions of my own that I’m pretty faithful to, but I can promise that if you want to make some sugar cookies from this or any recipe, you and your kids will have a wonderful time cooking, rolling, decorating and baking. Together.
As an aside, I REALLY love to cook. And cooking healthy for (and with) my kids has been one of my great pleasures and challenges since becoming a Mom. So… I’ve researched a lot and experimented a lot and have found quite a few favorite cookbooks – both for cooking for kids and for cooking with kids. Please leave me a comment or shoot me an email if you have any interest seeing lists of these books in the future- or if you have some recommendations of your own!