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At what age should you introduce your child to cooking?

by chipp (follow)
Parenting (216)      Food (698)      Children (252)      Cooking (175)      Self Development (8)     

children cooking

Cooking is an important skill to have. Some of us can do it while others cannot. At what age should you introduce your child to cooking?

#Self Development
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I'm introducing it in stages as my daughter becomes more capable (she is four). I don't like her working with hot stuff really but she helps me bake by stirring, tipping things into the bowl etc. She has just mastered cracking an egg and actually getting it where it's supposed to go without getting any shell in. I definitely want my kids able to cook a basic meal for themselves by their early teens.
I think you can start them as soon as they are interested with basic things like play dough and then moving up to a little more complex tasks.
As early as they are interested. My kids bake with me so often that my daughter already knows the basic ingredients required for a cake or biscuits, and she even did pancakes from scratch this year and she's six! Kids can be a lot more competent than we sometimes think and teaching them safety as well as fun in the kitchen from an early age sets them up for confidence later on.

As soon as they are upright. My Mum did not let me do too much cooking in case I messed up the kitchen. I did not learn to cook until I left home aged 24. Fortunately my Canadian landlady gave me free board in return for week night cooking. I slipped straight into venison stews and apple pie with the aid of the Fanny Farmer cookbook which she recommended. I have not looked back. I often feel guilty that I did not pass on more skills to my daughter, possibly through lack of time rather than the messy kitchen.
I think if they are interested. Some kids are curious and want to learn to do things like toast bread, others prefer to eat the toast. Just go with the flow!
About 7 years old is a great age.

It's a time they can find cooking as a interesting thing to help with.
Kids love to get their little hands dirty, that's all part of the joy of cooking too.
No knifes at all till much much older...but basic stuff is fine.They still will need an adult with them, in the kitchen.
As soon as they are interested. Good to get them into it just as they enter primary school. It does depend on the child. Shows such as Junior MasterChef have been great for this purpose.
I would say the age of 3 or 4 is a good age. Get the children involved in decorating cookies you are baking or even mix things. They enjoy getting messy and seeing their hard work become something the whole family can enjoy.
6 years of age
Once the child can stand up. But he or she must not go near the stove until about 10 years old or so.
As soon as they are interested and ask questions and want to help. My kids are 3 and 5 and they both help stir things. My 5 yr old can help measure things. It can be lots of fun, or really stressful depending on if you're in a rush or not!
I taught my children from when they were young. By ten, my son could get a Roast organised, with just a little help from Mum.

He's just had his 30th Birthday, & is now Head Chef at a busy Restaurant. Has Patisserie Certificate, & B.Hosp.Mgt. Degree.

This all came about by watching me in the Kitchen, & then my teaching him when he expressed his wish to cook.
It's a skill that is easy to learn from a young age, & NEVER goes amiss!
I don't quite understand the question. When my son was a baby he did everything with me so cooking was no different. I used to chat with him and tell him what was going on, let feel or taste the food. It was a natural transition that when he was capable I would give him little tasks. You need to understand the child to know at what age your child is capable of doing hot stuff or using sharp tools under close supervision.
When my grand daughter was allowed to visit we would have imaginary tea parties. She was only two when I asked her for the recipe for the delicious imaginary cake we were eating. She was able to list eggs, sugar, butter , flour , eggs and milk! That is credit to her mother who is a very good cook and involves her children in cooking.
by annfi
My mother didn't teach me, (I had 3 younger siblings), so when I married at aged 22, I couldn't cook, with-out burning everything I tried to cook. as I taught myself I had a very patent husband, in those very early years, & we're still married 47 years later, so yes, I'd say teach them as soon as they seem interested in helping in the kitchen!
by Miro
With my own children I can't say I remember when they started but with 2 of my grandsons aged 3 and 6, they both cook with me almost every week and they love it, the favourites being home made banana bread and sausage rolls. The elder boy perfected cracking an egg into a small basin in case there was shell in it whilst the younger is getting better at it. As for the sausage rolls, the only thing I do is finely chop the onion and they do the rest. With cutting the sausage rolls they are guided by me with that part as they know they aren't allowed to use sharp knives and they love "painting" the milk over the pastry. Naturalky I place the trays in the oven and take them out. The would cook more often if their mother had the time to spend doing it with them.
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