Engage other senses.
It can be a challenge raising a picky eater, but some of these challenges can be overcome by encouraging your young ones to join you in the kitchen. Did you know that taste not only includes the sensations on your tongue but also smelling with your nose? For many children it causes anxiety to try new and foreign foods. However, if they participate in the cooking process they can be familiar with the ingredients along the way. Encourage them to touch, taste, or smell new ingredients to build familiarity.
Use cooking to raise smart kids.
Many lessons can be taught in the kitchen. Children learn the process of planning and completing a project by following a recipe. This can also provide children with a sense of fulfillment. Children can also learn math skills such as adding and measuring.
Make cooking part of the family culture.
Family meal time does not have to start at the table. You can create family traditions and make memories by cooking together as a family. This is a great way to pass down recipes from your cultural heritage and teach your children the importance of a healthy lifestyle. It is also beneficial to share with your child some of your holiday traditions that often revolve around meals. Share with them the meaning of your traditions and encourage them to help you maintain these seasonal traditions.
Keep it safe.
It is very important to teach your children the proper skills to stay safe in the kitchen. Show them how you can use a hot pad to protect your hands from heat and how to hold kitchen utensils properly. When you involve your child in the kitchen make sure to keep in mind their abilities. Assign simple tasks like rinsing produce and tearing lettuce leaves to ensure the safety of little ones in the kitchen.
Ask for input.
Help your children feel more included by involving them in the meal planning and preparation process. Ask them what recipes they would like to make and have them help you shop at the market. When you are cooking together let your child critique the recipe and discuss what you do and do not like together. Overall these tips will help your children feel more included and build more confidence in the kitchen.