For the past year, my son has shown a lot of interest in cooking. He tells me he wants to be a chef when he grows up. I absolutely love how enthusiastic he becomes when I ask him to help me out in the kitchen. He enjoys pouring things into bowls, cracking eggs, stirring. A few weeks back he rubbed seasoning onto chicken wings and was amazed that the sazon seasoning he used, left his hands orange! Now, I know that cooking with a toddler can be very dangerous, so I always help him and guide him when he needs to stir something on the stove. When he is touching raw meat, I quickly hold his hands and take him to wash them so we can scrub them really good! I explain to him that he cannot touch the pots and pans in certain places because he can get burned or not to touch his face when messing with raw meats. He always says “alright mommy” with a big smile on his face.
I’m sure there are parent who wouldn’t be comfortable having their kids near the stove, but I feel that as long as I am there, or my husband is there, explaining the dangers and showing him how to handle everything in the kitchen, then it’s fine. The only way our children will really learn is by having them get involved. He has watched me cook many times, but it just isn’t the same. He enjoys getting his hands dirty and learning new cooking tricks, like standing a big spoon in the middle of a pot of rice, to see if there is enough water, or bending chicken wings back, so they don’t stick straight up and they can cook evenly. The best part for me is to see his happy expression when the food he has helped me prepare is all done and he brags to his dad saying “daddy I cooked this!” It’s a great feeling. Now, if he does become a chef in the future, I cannot wait for all the dinners he is going to cook up for my husband and me! That will be the day I get a rest from the kitchen :), haha.
[Here is my son making Blueberry Pancakes]:
[Making yellow rice with corn and seasoning chicken wings] :).