Do you have a budding chef at home? Would you like to help the talent grow further? Then all you need to do is lend a helping hand to your kid who wants to cook along with you! And also a small box of band aids and burn cream!
Cooking with children is pure magic. See the joy on their faces as they see the final product of their efforts! It does not matter if your little boy or girl wants to be in the kitchen with you. It is the interest level that matters. Some little ones (as young as seven or eight) love to string beans, or shell peas or generally whisk the cake batter or dot the cookies with chocolate chips. Safe and interesting activity as it also keeps them occupied plus it helps you along in achieving things at home! As there is no heat source near them, there is no stress for you. Then the stage comes when bread needs to be buttered or sandwiches need to be installed or wrapped up in clingfilm or foil. Kids of this age (the early beginners of seven and eight years) can become adept in this. They might also show interest in washing dal or rice and soaking them with measured amounts of water. Older kids may also want to help out in rolling out rotis and puris or even stirring the dal while it simmers on the stove. Here we would suggest you use wooden ladles and spoons so that at no point does the heat scald their hands.
The other implements kids are fascinated by are knives and scissors. Scissors are the most intriguing things even for a four year old and if they get one in their hands, save the curtains or today’s newspaper! They could even go for their own hair! But older children who wander into the kitchen can be taught to use the scissors to chop coriander leaves or other herbs and also trim the crust from bread slices. How to use a knife needs to be tutored and demonstrated so that there are no mishaps. Plus use of a chopping board and mixer-grinder is a must for young chefs.
The more you involve children in preparing food, the more interest they show in consuming what they make! In fact homemade pizzas are a brilliant way of encouraging them to try different ingredients. See the look of delight on their faces as they later devour them.
Once in the teens kids can become experts in omelettes, milk shakes and smoothies and of course their all time favourite instant noodles. Gradually bring them onto higher levels as the essentials of using the pressure cooker for rice and khichdi or any vegetable preparation can be facilitated. As the confidence increases and interest gets more nurtured you might just have your son or daughter making hot rotis for you! That would be a pleasure wouldn’t it be!
Here are some recipes that kids can cook. Some of them might need the assistance of an adult so please do use your judgement.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient.
His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.
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