Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cooking With Kids: An Exercise In Patience

Over the last month I've been focusing on involving my children in the cooking process. Right now they are not much of a help to me in the kitchen. In fact they make it much much harder. The 2 year old mostly makes a mess. She'll get food all over the counter, the floor, her clothes, her face.... My 4 year old does a decent job of completing a task like chopping vegetables but he's sooooo sloooooooow. It takes him about 25 times longer than it would take me to just do it myself. 

However I've come to realize that if I want them to love cooking real food and help me when they are older I need to make it a pleasant experience. That's where patience comes in. I need lots of it when the kids are in the kitchen. 

This doesn't come naturally to me. I want to get in there and get dinner on the table as fast as possible. Sometimes I find myself saying "Hurry up! Let's get this done!" But for my children the enjoyment is in the process.

I've found things go much smoother if we start dinner early. This way we are not rushed and no one is overly hungry.  It also helps to give everyone a job so there's no bickering and fighting.

I have to slow down. Sometimes I take deep breaths. I am learning to enjoy the process.

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  1. I hear ya. My little ones looooove to help in the kitchen. I'm glad they're interested, but it does take 10 times as long!

    I'm still working on that patience thing with them, too. Luckily, or not, I get to practice daily :)

  2. That's great that you're involving your kids in the kitchen! I don't know anything about kids :P But, maybe it'd be helpful to think of it as an activity - like playing in the kitchen, rather than preparing dinner. If you change your mindset that way, then you're no longer comparing how long it took to make dinner to how long it usually takes you.. it's more of a relatively cheap activity, that happens to eventually results in a meal (hopefully), and pays off greatly in the future (for both you and your kids)..

  3. Thank you for the advice :)

  4. Great reminder post for mom's! Monkey see, monkey do. If we are frantic, last minute, etc in the kitchen (or even other areas in our lives) our kids are watching and will develop the same habits. I'm gonna let my kiddos help tonight!

    Thanks for linking up at Healthy 2day Wednesdays last week! Hope to see you add a post this week!

  5. I really liked your Information. Keep up the good work. Food Driers