There are countless ways where you can include your little one into the day-to-day activities, and one of the best and most fun is cooking! Fun cooking with kids can teach many life skills to them, while also exploring new food and doing a little math as cooking, especially baking is sometimes a science!
Getting your kid into the kitchen can keep them busy while also managing their stress. Just remember that cooking is a way to bond with your kid while doing fun activities and try not to look at it as a source of stress. It’s fine to be a little messy as long as you both are having fun and earning your little one simple kitchen skills.
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Cooking Games for Kids
One other benefit of involving kids into kitchen activities is that sometimes, for some kids, mealtime can be difficult. Through fun cooking games for kids, children can taste different flavors, learn more about where the food comes from, which textures they like, and learn more about the science behind the cooking process.
Here, we have gathered a couple of cooking games you can play at home with your little one to help them feel more comfortable around the kitchen!
Blind Taste Test!
For this game, you would need already prepared food or snacks or ingredients you’d like your child to give a chance to! Through this game, children will be able to appreciate different flavors and unique textures of foods and ingredients.
All you will need to do is blindfold your child and put different dishes on the table. You will then ask your kid to taste each dish with a spoon. You can give clues along the way. Once you are done, you can cook the dish your kiddo likes the most!
Cookie Cutter Hunt in the Kitchen
Your kids will love hunting for cookie cutters for this game! You will need a cookie dough ready (or you can make it with your kid, too!). Then, hide cookie cutters around the house. Give your child clues as to what they are looking for, like “A Christmassy shaped cutter” and let them look for the cookie cutters around the house. Once they find all of them, cut the dough into those shapes and bake them!
Cooking Recipes for Kids
Food and eating becomes exciting when you are the one who is making it, or at least help make it. At least, we believe that is the case for kiddos. Here are some fun, easy cooking recipes for kids that you can try at your own kitchen. Make sure that your kiddo is not allergic or sensitive to any of the ingredients and never leave them unsupervised while using dangerous kitchen utilities like the oven.
Petite Pepper Pizzas
Well, the name speaks for itself. It’s pizza ! But waaay easier to make! You will need to halve and take the core out of bell peppers. Your kid can help you take the inside of the bell peppers, which will give them a chance to see the seeds and all! While they are doing that, preheat the oven to 350°F /178° C. Ask your kid to put the halved peppers onto a baking sheet on a tray and drizzle olive oil. Don’t forget to season them with salt and pepper. Then, get your kid to spoon some pizza sauce inside the peppers, put shredded mozzarella and parmesan, and some pepperoni. It will take around 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and the peppers are tender and delicious!
For some reason, cookies sound the best when it comes to baking with kids. Because it’s fun, easy, and DELICIOUS! Why not make it a little more interesting than the classic chocolate chip cookies. Go and bake some EARTH COOKIES with your little one!
Well, there’s not much difference between an Earth cookie and a regular cookie except for a couple drops of blue and green food coloring. Preheat your oven to 375 °F /190 °C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Since the fun part is building the Earth cookies, get your hands on a bag of sugar cookie mix as well as the ingredients listed on the package to make the mixture. Prepare the mix according to the directions and divide one fourth of the dough into a separate bowl. Recruit your kid into putting some green dye in this mixture and mix well. You can prepare the rest with the blue food coloring.
Instruct your child to pull out pieces of the blue dough and shape them into balls, and some green pieces for the “lands” on the Earth. Once you achieve your desired shape, bake them for 8 to 10 minutes. There you have it!
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Cooking with Autism
For children on the autism spectrum, mealtime and food can be challenging. Most of the time, food and sensory sensitivities may cause certain eating behaviors. On top of that, the individual with autism spectrum disorder may be reluctant to try out new and necessary ingredients due to these sensitivities and aversion.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t experiment with your food with your autistic child. Getting more exposed to food and developing cooking skills could be beneficial for the health of the child. Moreover, gaining cooking skills can also help build their confidence, making them more independent and confident!
Cooking with your autistic child could help you spend some quality time while also helping them develop life skills that they will employ in their daily life. You can adjust the cooking process to your child’s sensitivities and likings. If they don’t like touching certain foods and textures, you can have them wear gloves. For some motor skills, try to model first and help out when they need it. One other thing you can do to make cooking more enjoyable for your child is breaking down the steps into small pieces, which will make the entire process more manageable for your kiddo.
Through practice and a dash of creativity, and with a little bit of patience, autistic children can love cooking and benefit from it a whole lot!