On Monday, I talked about how we are introducing responsibility to Molly through an allowance, routine charts and cooking. I said that I would talk about cooking in another post and today's post is about teaching Molly who is 4 and a half, how to cook.
A few months ago, some parents at Maggie's co-op were talking about how hard it is to keep their kids out of the kitchen while they are trying to make dinner. Our parent educator suggested that they involve them in cooking.
I remembered that Molly's friend, Other Molly likes to cook with her Mom and even has her own cooking supplies. I quickly ordered a few things from Amazon (because all problems are solved by going shopping) and started to scheme.
I found this awesome chart that shows what kitchen skills are appropriate at what age. I also checked out a book on kid's cooking from the library. I talked to Molly about taking over dinner one night a week. We decided that Wednesday would be perfect because we get home early enough from ballet for her to make a simple meal. On Sundays, Molly and I discuss what she will be making on Wednesday so I can get all the ingredients. I have a Pinterest page full of ideas and we also consult cookbooks. Her first meal was boxed Macaroni and Cheese. She was so proud of herself and I was happy to see her excitement grow.
Over time she's grown her skills in the kitchen. She's made PB&J's for dinner, Monster Pizzas, Mini Lasagna Cups, Fish Tacos, Grilled Cheese and Crockpot Spaghetti. I help her by gathering the ingredients, helping her measure out the food, reading the recipe and showing her how to use sharp knives. I also put take everything out of the oven.
Most nights, Molly loves cooking for the family but sometimes she is not into cooking at all. One night when she refused to cook, I said, "Well if you don't to make dinner, what will we eat?" Molly is a quick one and said, "Let's order Pizza!" and so we did because some nights, you just need to order pizza.