Growing up I have lots of memories of spending time in my grandma’s kitchen. My mom worked two jobs most of my childhood, just to keep a roof over our heads, so I spent a substantial amount of time at my grandma’s house. Together we’d spent lots of time in the kitchen stringing fresh green beans, canning home grown tomatoes, and cooking up some of the best country dishes you could ever imagine, and from scratch at that. I only wish I had photographs to show my kids, but these are memories that will have to live on in my mind.
They say the kitchen is the heart of the home. I can agree to that! There is just something so comforting about a noisy kitchen filled with giggles from children, laughter from parents, and a few clinks and clatters of dishes being put away, or food being created on the stove. It’s truly a memory that everyone can relate too in one way or another.
~This is a sponsored post on behalf of Premier Surfaces.~
Today, parents are bombarded with activities that their kids are in, social media clutter, and trying to make things that are easy to cook and devour in 20 minutes. So how can we connect with our children while also creating lasting bonds in the kitchen? I have a few ideas that might help!
Involve Your Child in Food Prep
One of the biggest things I wanted to do as a child was help in the kitchen. It was the small things, like cracking an egg into a bowl to make pancakes for breakfast, or helping stir the bowl when all the ingredients were in.
No matter the task, make sure you involve your child to their skill level and age. If they aren’t comfortable cutting up small vegetables or just aren’t ready for that, allow them to help just pour the ready-made measuring cups of ingredients into a bowl. As they grow and learn, they’ll eventually start measuring themselves to help!
Clean Up, Clean Up, Everybody Do Your Share
Not only is it important to involve your child in the creation of dishes, but just as essential to them is cleaning up the mess as well. As a parent, an easy chore my kids enjoy helping with, is wiping down the countertops.
We actually just upgraded our kitchen to some incredible counters that are a show stopper for guests and friends that stop by. We worked with a company called Premier Surfaces, who not only had helpful customer service, but also a wealth of knowledge to help us pick the perfect countertops to work with our kitchen design and layout.
I actually didn’t know all the options available, other than quartz and marble, but you can also try limestone, butcher block or cambria. The cambria countertop options had several colors to choose from, such as the gorgeous Brittanicca quartz countertop, which really makes a statement! It has large veining which is perfect if you have a large kitchen island. The look is extremely versatile when it comes to really any style of kitchen as seen in the picture above!
There are other simple chores your child can do as well, such as helping to wash the dishes, putting the dishes in the dishwasher and starting the dishwasher. Whatever your child can do to help, continue to praise their effort in participating!
Talk About Safety Rules
As fun as it is to cook and clean together as a family, you also want to be sure that you cook smart. Talk about the safety of cooking, such as where we put our hands and fingers when we are cooking near the stove, how to watch if the pots or pans start to boil over, how to turn the stove off if something occurs, and even how to put out a fire in the event one sparks.
It may not be a pleasant talk, but assure your child that everything will be okay because you are working together as a team. Having open communication is key and makes everyone feel safe. In fact, when I used to cook with my grandma, we used to both communicate what we were going to do before we actually did it. That helped us stay on the same page.
This is probably every child’s favorite thing about cooking (at least it was mine)! When the dish is complete, do a quick little taste test to see if it’s ready to go. Licking a bowl of homemade whipped cream still gives me all the cozy feels! As a precaution, if you’re making a dish that may be too spicy or hot, I’d advise having your child try it when it’s cooled down, or maybe taste testing an individual ingredient.
There are many other things that you and your kids can do while cooking together too. Remember, cooking and creating new dishes together can really be a lot of fun if you have designated rules, safety regulations in place and everyone pitches in.