Jump to content

Cooking with children
How does it not drive you mental?


  • Please log in to reply
35 replies to this topic

#1 Romeo Void

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:17 PM

I've tried and TRIED but having them in the kitchen with me does my head in and I usually end up waving my hands around like a crazed Italian mama and ordering them OUT!  I'm still relatively new to cooking so it's often a case of me trying to feel my way, and with them underfoot I usually end up stuffing something up...like this last weekend I used plain instead of self raising flour in the banana bread.  And oh my god the MESS!  And the fingers in EVERYTHING.

If your children help you out how do you handle this?  Do you only have one at a time, is that what I'm doing wrong?  Do you just put up with dough on the floor, the walls...the cat?  I have DD aged 6 and DS aged 4.

#2 dae-gu

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:22 PM

I definately try to have only one at a time, lol.

#3 ~sydblue~

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:25 PM

My first reply was along the lines of "Well you have to knock them out and marinate them until tender, then slow cook."


#4 MissButtercup

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:25 PM

I have a 6yo and 3yo so understand where your coming from. Have you tried just letting them decorate cup cakes, biscuits etc... after their baked? Might be a good starting point.

I am a bit of a neat freak so to start with the mess drove me crazy but after seeing the smiles on their faces from enjoying helping out I relaxed a little and just let them go crazy. After all, the walls, floors and even the cat can be washed and those happy moments are priceless wink.gif

Edited by MissButtercup, 04 February 2013 - 08:26 PM.


#5 Chicky whicky

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:25 PM

I give them a chopping board, a butter knife, and whatever vegetable I am cooking and let hem go for it. But the baking? That takes up a lot of my patience.

#6 Therese

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:26 PM

QUOTE (~sydblue~ @ 04/02/2013, 09:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My first reply was along the lines of "Well you have to knock them out and marinate them until tender, then slow cook."


roll2.gif

#7 Fluster

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:29 PM

I'm currently teaching 11 year old DS to bake and cook.  I start well in advance and prepare myself for the mess.   We made lamingtons yesterday.  It looked like it snowed.

#8 Fillyjonk

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:32 PM

Hah. Once I went to a parenting workshop with ideas on activities you can do with kids, one of which being cooking. The speaker made the point that for some people, cooking with kids is just not their thing and you shouldn't feel bad if that is you.

However, I think perhaps your lack of familiarity with cooking is the problem. Perhaps you should practice a couple of simple recipes such that you feel completely in control when you make them. That means you can bark instructions at each stage allowing less opportunity for distraction and painting the cat with batter.

I think it probably is a better idea just to have one in at a time as well.

QUOTE (Fluster @ 04/02/2013, 08:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm currently teaching 11 year old DS to bake and cook.  I start well in advance and prepare myself for the mess.   We made lamingtons yesterday.  It looked like it snowed.

I attempted lamingtons once with a similar outcome.

Edited by with the goo goose, 04 February 2013 - 08:34 PM.


#9 lizzzard

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:35 PM

I have a DD6 and DS4 as well. They love "helping" me cook but it usually drives me mad as well. My favourite recipe to make with them is mars bar slice though - I let them grease the tray (I give it an extra go-over), measure the ingredients and mix the rice bubbles into the chocolate mixture, Then the help me pat it into the pan and that's it. Oh, and they get to 'try' the mix from the bowl Tounge1.gif They love the end product and its not tooo painful biggrin.gif

#10 Romeo Void

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:35 PM

QUOTE (~sydblue~ @ 04/02/2013, 09:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My first reply was along the lines of "Well you have to knock them out and marinate them until tender, then slow cook."
roll2.gif I think my son would be a little 'gamey' .


QUOTE (MissButtercup @ 04/02/2013, 09:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have a 6yo and 3yo so understand where your coming from. Have you tried just letting them decorate cup cakes, biscuits etc... after their baked? Might be a good starting point.

I am a bit of a neat freak so to start with the mess drove me crazy but after seeing the smiles on their faces from enjoying helping out I relaxed a little and just let them go crazy. After all, the walls, floors and even the cat can be washed and those happy moments are priceless wink.gif

Oh man if I let them near frosting that would be the end.  It's WW3 in my house when deciding who gets to lick which egg beater!  I'm thinking I'll start taking them on one at a time, divide and conquer and all that.

#11 Perpetual

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:37 PM

I only do really, really simple things.

I'll have DS (3) assemble pizzas to be baked, or we'll make 3 ingredient pancakes and then he will watch me cook and tell me when to flip.

Anything complicated only happens when he is asleep or out of the house.

#12 KLF84

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:40 PM

I feel sorry for my ds8. He loves to cook and when he was younger it was great as he was eager to please and get it right and followed instructions well. Now he is Mr Confident who knows it all and won't listen to instruction that I end up telling him to get out the kitchen­čś×
I figure if he wants to cook now he can do it with grandma.

#13 nik_klinger

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:42 PM

QUOTE (~sydblue~ @ 04/02/2013, 09:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My first reply was along the lines of "Well you have to knock them out and marinate them until tender, then slow cook."


Awesome, exactly what i was thinking when i read the thread title. Funny funny funny.

#14 laridae

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:44 PM

Start with easy things - and expect some losses.

How about scones - its just like playdough - don't worry too much if theirs don''t rise well, or if they make snails or worms.  Its farly tactile, so keeps them occupied.

#15 katrina24

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:45 PM

I have a 5 year old and 7 year old. The 5 yo is much better helping in the kitchen.  Definitely one at a time.  Also, have a set of tasks they can do and save the ones that are for you only.  I made vege frittatas on the weekend with my 5 yo. I got her to grate the zucchini (she is experienced with this and safe). This gave me time to chop up all the other ingredients. The I cracked the eggs and let her scramble them. She poured in the milk while I whisked properly etc.  this way you can cook with them helping and without you going crazy. We usually agree on the jobs they cam do before we start so there aren't dramas during.

#16 FiveAus

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:46 PM

Hmmm, mine weren't allowed to help in the kitchen until they'd grown up........actually, until they'd grown up, left home, had their own kitchens for a while so they could appreciate the cleanliness of mine.....then they were allowed to help.

But I was a terrible mother, so I'm probably not a great example to follow. Funnily enough, all of my children grew up to be really good cooks and two of them are truly fabulous.

#17 TheGreenSheep

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:49 PM

I can't. I try. But it's not something I enjoy doing with them.

#18 zogee

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:59 PM

Two at once would drive me bonkers! My daughter likes to help a lot, but she's a bit too eager to just eat the cake batter/cookie dough and not do much else wink.gif she's helped make rissoles and meat balls a few times and she's actually really good!

#19 hunter4

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:59 PM

I find that the best thing to do is try and find just one or two things in a recipe that they can do all by themselves, as PP said, cutting things up with a butter knife is good (just make sure you don't care what the final product looks like. for younger kids get them counting out choc chips/raisins or something similar (depending on what you're making)

If you are doing two kids at a time I find its best to make a double batch (or two half batches) set  one kid up on each side of me then measure out things into their bowls (usually whilst they're holding the measuring cups or spoons) then they get to stir their own bowls - this way there's no fighting and some control on my part.

But as PP said - being as pre prepared as possible is good.


#20 bettymm

Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:01 PM

I can see how it wouldnt be for everyone

I quite like cooking with my 4year old DD, but we only ever do pretty simple things like muffins, easy roll out biscuits-cut into shapes, pancakes...she just mixes and i do the cooking of those.

Big big mess is a given but i dont mind..it all wipes up easy enough.  I measure out all the things and she loves adding it all to the big bowl, having a mix and then of course a lick of the bowl.  

I actually prefer this kind of thing to do together than setting up painting or play dough.  Hate that kind of mess more!  and there is a yummy (hopefully) end result!

#21 Funwith3

Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:08 PM

QUOTE (Fluster @ 04/02/2013, 09:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We made lamingtons yesterday.  It looked like it snowed.


roll2.gif

Cooking with two kids is stressful. Mine fight over jobs, who got the better job, who's turn it is, who's encroaching on the other one's side of the bench etc etc. And then a cup of walnuts gets dropped onto the floor, I start yelling and they get up and leave.

Must try and be more patient.

I am aware that teaching kids to cook will benefit me in the long run - cant wait for the night I can ask the kids to cook dinner!! Even if its nachos, I will be rapt!!  hands.gif

#22 whale-woman

Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:11 PM

I actually like cooking with DD who's 3. She's useful for stirring stuff, mashing stuff (like the banana for banana bread) and I do the measuring and she tips the ingredients in. She's usually happy as a pig in mud (and looks a bit similar) licking out bowls/spoons.
I often get her to help make banana bread or bake cookies (which she then cuts out and decorates) to keep her amused. Yesterday we made frozen colored milk cubes (it kept her amused for half an hour stirring the milk as colors were added.) I also find she's more likely to eat something if she's helped cook it (she wanted peas and corn added to her omelete she was helping with today and she gobbled it all up).  biggrin.gif

She's also great for collecting ingredients from the garden if anything needs picking/collecting. eg eggs or lemons.

Edited by whale-woman, 04 February 2013 - 09:14 PM.


#23 Funnington

Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:22 PM

If you are new to the enjoyment of cooking, I don't think it's probably ideal to incorporate other 'learners' in to the kitchen with you.  Yes, that would drive me batty.  

To be honest, my impatient, messy son does drive me mad when he wants to 'help' but, I've nutted it out now - I get him on the less messy duty's that don't cause me to blow a gasket (particularly if I'm tired and impatient already).

Jobs like:

- Fill a sink with about 2 inches of water and once you've peeled and cut the ends of carrots, beans or peeled potatoes - ask them to wash them for you and put them in a dish ready for cooking.

- Get a cheap set of scales and once food is prepared (the less messy kind) like the peeled & washed vegies, ask them to see how much they weigh on the scales.

- If you're just in the discovering stage yourself, DO NOT start with making cupcakes and letting them measure flours, sugars etc.  You just end up with it from a/hole to breakfast time causing said blown gasket.  Be sneaky - get all the powdery, fine ingredients ready without telling them and ask them to put the cupcake liners into a muffin tray.  Get them to grease the muffin pans or, mash a soft banana with a fork in a big bowl.

- Buy the canola spray in a can and let them spray the cake tins or draw around cake pans on the lining paper and cut out with their scissors (it doesn't matter if it's not perfectly cut)

There are other less tedious (annoying) things I get my son to do and can't think of all of them now.  If I remember when I'm not exhausted, I'll let you know.  But, you should let them in to your cooking world with little, important jobs that will encourage a love of food and making things yourselves.

I do understand your pain though - sometimes I do want to wave and flap around like a crazy Italian woman but, I try and keep in mind his interest too.  It just takes some forward thinking rather than all traipsing in the kitchen 'okay, let's make a souffle, you can measure and sift the flour' wacko.gif  < my idea of hell!

Edited by Funnington, 04 February 2013 - 09:24 PM.


#24 VioletRose

Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:25 PM

If you are able to break the tasks down into small enough tasks even very small cooks can make good food.
Some things that help are breaking eggs into a dish so the egg shells can be removed before egg is added to dish. Pour milk into a smaller container so they can't spill 2+ liters of milk on the floor. Mix a batter by hand before using the electric beaters if you don't want flour etc all over the walls.
Table knives can cut lots of things but are pretty safe for young fingers. Scissors work for other things. Cutting vegies into more stable shapes make it much easier and safer for learners to use sharp knives. Eg cut a potato in half lengthwise then put cut surface on chopping board.
Once you have them trained in meal prep it's like having your own mini kitchen hand, complete with the inevitable tantrums too!

With a few little helpers I prefer them to work on different tasks in different parts of the kitchen to lessen fights. Sometimes this means someone chopping or mixing at the dining table instead of actually in the kitchen

#25 Happypinks

Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:29 PM

My 3.5 yr DD is at the stage of wanting to be mummy so i let her make her own sandwiches and recently she has mastered peeling veg so that takes her ages while I do the potentially messy stuff. Once a a week we will bake biscuits or slice or something she can stir or kneed in a bowl. Ill also let her put icing on cupcakes at her table with her apron on.

Now whether I do this when my 17 month old is old enough to want to join in, im not sure!!




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Decluttering before Christmas: tips for managing the toy influx

Deciding how many toys you want to keep and enforcing a limit can help manage the sheer volume of playthings.

86-year-old taught himself to knit, now makes caps for premature babies

'Anything is possible if you put your mind to it' might just be the motto of 86 year-old retiree, Ed Moseley who despite his age and abilities has been gifting handmade knitted caps to premature babies.

Want healthy kids? Let them play in the mud, feed them allergenic foods - and get a dog

If you read about children's health, you've heard a lot of this before.

Photo captures mum's shock at delivery room surprise

Life can be full of surprises, but for this couple a surprise came in a very unexpected way.

Baby's family in law suit over RAAF base chemicals

A 10-month-old baby has been exposed to significant levels of toxic chemicals around a RAAF base near Newcastle, say his parents.

Childcare worker investigated after threatening toddler's mother

An early childhood teacher has been censured for serious misconduct after she threatened the mother of a young child.

Scottish baby names

Scotland, the wind and water-hewn land of the loch, the kilt and the heather. Bedecked in castles great and small, there are many Australians with Scottish heritage who could look to that fair country for baby name inspiration.

Do we need more parking spaces for parents?

The Give Me Space campaign is collecting stories from mums who have had difficult experiences while trying to find safe parking.

Gender neutral parenting: what it's really like

If you want to take a leaf out of Clare's book in gender neutral parenting, her advice is simple: "Follow the children's lead, and you can't go wrong."

The vital question no parent wants to think about

Since becoming a mother I sometimes wonder what would happen to my babies if their dad and I both died.

6 parents to stop judging right now

It's worth looking a little more closely at some common parenting missteps. Could it be these mums and dads are really just like you and me?

Ryan Reynolds shares delivery room tips for expectant dads

If your partner is heading to the delivery room any time soon, you've got to see Ryan Reynolds' video on dealing with the intricacies of the delivery room.

The trials and tribulations of teenage mums, 10 years later

Having her first baby at 16 was a shock for Simone Miller, but it's not something she regrets.

Grandma falls head over heels for baby - literally

Usually Valerie Sharp's plan to put her granddaughter into her cot works just fine, but when things go wrong it is hilarious.

My toddler wants all my attention all of the time - help!

This is a stage, and you and she will move through it. I can (almost) promise it.

Cotton On KIDS' cute new baby prewalker shoes

Oh watch out folks, Cotton On KIDS' baby range has just become even cuter with the release of its first ever prewalker shoe collection.

Why I love the superhero phase

My twins are heading towards three and have officially entered the superhero phase. It happened almost overnight.

I'm caught in a 'mumpetition' with my friend and I'm losing it

My best friend and I had children within a year of each other. She thinks her child is God's gift to the world.

A year of motherhood: my survival story

Motherhood burns you down, but it rebuilds you too.

Five traps to be aware of when reading IVF clinic websites

Clinics provide IVF success rates in often confusing ways because there is no agreed format on how this information should be presented.

 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Articles

Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

What pregnancy is really like: mums share their honest opinions

We asked real women what surprised them during their pregnancy. They've shared their experiences in the hope of preparing the rest of us better for the ride

The truth about big-headed babies

Research suggests that big headed babies become more intelligent than their smaller peers. One mum shares the positives and negatives of having a big headed baby.

How to encourage your baby's gross motor development skills

There are some everyday things that parents can do to improve gross motor skills and coordination.

'My baby's extra thumb saved her life'

A mum whose daughter was born with an extra thumb says that the extra digit saved her life.

He gave her his liver, she gave him her heart

Heather Krueger and Chris Dempsey's origin story began in a darker place than most: with stage 4 liver cancer.

Toilet training from birth? It is possible

This method, called elimination communication (EC or assisted infant toilet training), is becoming increasingly popular in the West.

Watch hilarious montage of strangest pregnancy questions on Yahoo Answers

Some of the strangest questions about pregnancy - and some of the most bizarre spelling - have made for a hilarious video.

How to reduce your chances of perineal tearing in birth

The use of heat packs, along with other aspects of clinical care, can reduce your risk of tearing in birth.

 

Baby Names

Unusual Celeb Baby Names

Click through the gallery to read the details and see some of the most memorable monikers in show biz families.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.