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Guide to cooking at home with kids this Christmas

Christmas comes once a year and with it, Christmas break for our little ones who, despite this rather unusual year, have been in school in recent months. So now that they have loads of free time, most of which will be spent at home, why not spend some time in the kitchen? Our guide for cooking at home with kids will show you how to do this easily and safely, all while having fun. 

Cooking is the perfect activity for spending time as a family and learning. In fact, it's something that has become more frequent in many homes as a result of the lockdown. It's a way for kids to help us with household chores by turning something seemingly tedious into something fun and motivating. What's more, getting our little ones involved in household tasks is great for fostering family cooperation, a sense of responsibility and gender equality.

Kids often love to cook because it allows them to satisfy their enormous curiosity by exploring textures, aromas and flavours; but especially because it's the perfect excuse to spend fun, quality time with the adults in the house. Therefore, it's essential that they do so safely, that are always supervised by an adult and that they use the appropriate equipment to avoid any risks. So let's see what you need to bear in mind.   

1. Getting the little ones ready before cooking 

Before you start cooking, it's important to go over some guidelines with the little ones so that they can cook safely both for themselves and for the rest of the family. Let's go! 

 

  • Always cook under adult supervision: we mentioned this at the beginning of the article, but we'd really like to stress this point because it's important that kids clearly understand that they should not cook without the help of mum or dad, or another adult relative who can solve any problems if they arise.  
  • Suitable clothing for cooking: ideally use an apron that keeps their clothes free from potential stains, which are a frequent occurrence with little ones. The clothes you wear under the apron shouldn't be too loose, as this can make it difficult to cook and can cause accidents. We also recommend wearing a hat or tying their hair up in a bun or ponytail to prevent it from getting in the food.  
  • Hygiene before, during and after cooking: we already know this, but after everything that's happened this year, it has become crystal clear that hand washing is essential. It's therefore important to tell kids to wash their hands thoroughly before cooking. And not just beforehand, but also as they cook if they're handling certain foods such as eggs, meat or fish, which may contain harmful bacteria. In addition to hand washing, it is also essential to thoroughly clean any surfaces on which you're going to cook with soap and water, to keep them clean throughout the process so that no ingredients become contaminated, and to clean them again once finished.

2. Use the right equipment to cook safely with kids

Apart from the above points, to ensure that the activity is as safe as possible and that kids enjoy it to the fullest extent, you need the right equipment for them. Essentially, ensure that the kitchen is fit for their age. What are you going to need?  

 Although this will largely depend on the type of recipe, some items are very useful, no matter what you're cooking. One such item is a step stool, like the one shown in the photo, which allows them to access the kitchen in a safe and stable way. The step stool lets them reach what they need and be at the same height as they adults, so they don't miss any details in the cooking process.  

There are also lots of other cooking utensils that can be very useful when cooking with your kids, such as our SMÅBIT knife and peeler set. This has been specially designed to be used safely by little ones. The knife has a rounded tip to reduce the risk of injury.  

Depending on their age, we also recommend that you use plastic containers when making recipes. This way, if anything is accidentally dropped, this will avoid any breaks and prevent glass from shattering all over the floor, which can be dangerous for kids.   

3. Opt for simple, fun recipes 

 

Finally, for a great overall experience, it's important to choose the right recipes. To start off, we recommend choosing easy-to-prepare recipes that don't have too many steps and that they'll actually be excited to make.   

Kids usually love baking, especially dough and anything they can work with their own hands, so making cookies or a cake can be good choices. If you opt for cookies, we recommend choosing a fun shaped cutter like DRÖMMAR, which contains shapes for an elk, fox, bear, squirrel, hedgehog and snail. The little ones are sure to love it! And if you'd rather make a cake or another similar creation and you're missing the mould or any other utensil, IKEA has got you covered. 

That's it! Are you ready to cook? The little ones will certainly be keen to get to work, and we hope you have a wonderful time both in the kitchen and afterwards when you're sampling the delights you've made. Here are a few recipes so you don't run out of ideas! 

We love it when customers use our products in a creative way. Why not try to do something new with them yourself? But do remember, any modifications or changes that you make to IKEA products will prevent them from being resold or used for their original purpose, thus invalidating IKEA product warranties and your right to return them.