Cooking vs. Baking with young children
Why is it we as parents almost always start baking with our children instead of cooking with them?
Getting children interested in cooking at a young age does not have to mean cupcakes and cookies.
If we want our children to eat healthily, then let’s not encourage high sugar baked goods at every cooking encounter while they are young.
The best way to start your children off cooking is by helping prepare everyday meals at home.
Kids can enjoy cracking eggs for omelets or sugar-free banana pancakes just as much as cracking eggs for baked goods.
They can enjoy tossing a salad just as much as mixing cookie dough. Kids can whisk oil, vinegar, and herbs for the dressing instead of whisking up cake batter.
Washing a potato and pricking it with a fork is doable even for a three-year-old.
Open up a can of organic garbanzo beans and have your child strain the beans under running water. They love seeing the foam rinse away, and it also removes a lot of the sodium. Then have them place the beans on a paper towel. Place another paper towel on top and have your child start to rub the beans between the two paper towels. See the look on their faces when the outer shells start to loosen. Those beans can then be seasoned and baked for a delicious snack.
As a cooking teacher, I show my students, even at a young age, that the food possibilities are endless and as parents, we can set them on a path to enjoy so many more delicious and healthier foods. Of course, baking is fun, but cooking can be too! The best thing you can do is offer options! The choice is yours.