I don’t know about you, but I love the idea of cooking with my kids. In my mind we are in a big open kitchen in a cozy country house, the kids are standing on stools around a wide butcher block island in the center as I gracefully give them tasks in the creation of something delicious. The reality is that there is almost no counter space in my kitchen so I get crammed into a corner as Ben throws flour everywhere and I desperately try to maintain my composure while whatever I’m trying to make gets mauled into oblivion to shouts of “Hulk smash!” (seriously). I want to cook with my kids, and I want to enjoy it. I don’t want my son’s memories of being in the kitchen to be of me hovering over him correcting his every move. I love to cook and it is something that I am good at. I am however a terrible team player, so even if it were an adult working in the kitchen with me I would not feel relaxed about sharing the space. Throw in the four year old’s utter lack of self control and my fear of giving up control and it’s kind of…unpleasant. That being said, I continue to try the cooking with kids experiment. One way I’ve found to make it easier is to make something that can be divided into parts. If I am baking bread of some kind I will double the recipe and give Ben one good sized chunk of dough to shape something edible out of, and one smaller chunk of dough to do whatever he wants with (destroy, stick toys in it, make it dance all over the kitchen floor…). I also let him play with all the measuring cups and spoons. The other day a ladle and a wooden spoon had a hilarious conversation in our kitchen. Ben was just being silly and playing pretend, but it was a really sweet moment for me. He saw something associated with cooking as fun and playful, so that is a good start.
Published by thejoyofcaitlin
thejoyofcaitlin.com I am a self-trained personal chef who dabbles in catering and I love to find simple ways to create beautiful, nutritious meals. I have been a raw-foodist, vegan and vegetarian at various points in my life, and am now a devoted omnivore with a Kosher kitchen. I was born in Vermont, grew up in New Jersey, and currently live in Miami, by way of Jerusalem and the Bronx. I have two beautiful children, and a wonderful, appreciative husband who can also cook, when I let him in the kitchen. I have moved across the globe and back, twice, with my husband and son, most recently when I was thirty six weeks pregnant with my daughter. I derive inspiration from Attachment Parenting, Positive Discipline, and many hours of introspection. View all posts by thejoyofcaitlin