I am usually pretty good about menu planning. Each weekend I plan meals for the week ahead, make a shopping list and buy everything we need for the week. I even post the menu on the refrigerator door so whoever is available first, my husband or I, can get started with dinner. Please don’t think I’m bragging, there are other nights where I wish I could just serve my old college dinner standby – a Snickers bar. It seems to be those evenings in particular that my son asks if he can help make dinner.
I love cooking with my son, but sometimes I am in a hurry and just want to make dinner so we can get on with our evening. In those moments I have to remind myself that letting him help me is much more to him than just having fun. He is gaining something, whether it is knowledge or experience, each time we cook together. For those moments, I created the chart below.
By taking a little more time and allowing my son to help, he is learning many new things. He does not only learn about cooking, even though he is getting very good at it, but he is also learning math, science, chemistry and many other exciting topics. Cooking with kids provides some easy ways to extend their learning. I am always amazed at the things my son is able to do that I never thought was possible at his age.
There are moments where I just need to make dinner quickly and I tell him we can cook together soon, but I try to be flexible most nights. I love spending the one-on-one time with him too.
Even if you are not a great chef, your children will enjoy spending time with you in the kitchen.