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Slayter09

Cooking for K & 1 Gardes

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My 5 yr old just cooks next to me. He helps when he can, and I explain what I do.

 

My 10 yr old cooks with simple recipes from my 4 ingredient cookbook, and she can cook things from a box.

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My dd really enjoyed this book https://www.amazon.com/Anyone-Can-Cook-Step-Step/dp/0470500670/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1500298811&sr=1-2&keywords=how+to+bake+dvd and the baking companion book. It has step by step pictures. Can't remember when she received it, probably by 2nd grade.

 

In K5 and 1st, we were much more focused on tools. I would give her tools that she could use, and then she would find ways to use them or find things to make for our meal that used the tools. So at that age, the really expensive paring knives, you know the kind that are like 3 or 4 in a pack for $1, thin blades, are really good! Or you can start with a lettuce knife. You'd be shocked what they can cut with lettuce knives. Then go to the little thin paring knives. They can having their own cutting boards (small, fruit-shaped, Target has them). Banana cutters are good, because then they can spread things like p-butter or nutella on the banana slices.

 

Think about all the amazing things they can do just with paring knives! At that age my dd would make salads with veges. They can do fruit salads. They can make smoothies (with help, obviously). If you run the immersion blender and they chop the fruit to put in, they're cooking!

 

My ds and I just made guacamole together. Now honestly I cut the avocado. He has autism and is just at a different place. But for most kids, scooping the avocado with a spoon, cutting it into dices with the paring knife, that would really be in-reach for a K5er or 1st grader. Then can work together! 

 

So salads, anything like that you can chop, were what I started my dd with. We just happen to eat a lot of salad, so it works for us. Then think about things you can decorate. Not cupcakes, hehe, but things like chicken tenders that you can decorate or dip or put toppings on. We like to decorate chicken, decorate fish. You're talking bread crumbs and parmesan in a bag, nothing hard, kwim? But they're cooking and getting that satisfaction.

 

A 1st grader can cook an egg with supervision. Supervision obviously. That's frying. You're right there the whole time, but they're learning. It's a good intro, so that then, as they get taller, they can maybe stir the ground turkey for your tacos (3rd gr) kwim? You let them help and they gradually take over as they get taller and more responsible. My dd was always very tall for her age, so maybe she could do things a little early. If she needed a stool, I was right there. Only on her own if she could reach it on her own.

 

Pancakes are awesome with kids. Measuring, stirring...

 

One year I bought my dd a whole set of restaurant quality scoops off amazon. That way she could make meatballs, cute truffle desserts, whatever. She took them with her to college, sniff. But that's what I mean by tools. I got her a couple types of microplanes one year. The microplanes were so she could do lemon zest and grate nutmeg. So she was learning to do pies and desserts and she had the right tools. So I was buying *tools* to drive the interesting in the *cooking*.

 

They could operate a small immersion blender at that age. They could make salad dressings, smoothies, hummus...

Edited by OhElizabeth

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I think 4H has some modules/books on cooking. That would be through your county extension office. 

 

Have you tried watching Alton Brown together? :)

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I bought a book called "Do It Myself Kids Cookbook."  There is nothing in it that requires sharp knives or using the stove.  The kids love the treat-type stuff, but it's very limiting.  We had the best success with them just helping alongside me.  This way they are learning about cooking safety, etc as we go along.  I also found that while the "cool treats" appealed to them, what they really wanted to learn to make was the recipes we enjoyed as a family on a regular basis. 

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These look like what I used, only we only had one size. The 3 size pack is fabulous. The small one will be strong enough to cut carrots for vege soup, but it won't cut skin. 

 

Amazon.com: StarPack Nylon Kitchen Knife Set (3 Piece) - The Perfect Kids Knife, Lettuce Knife and Safe Kitchen Knife - Bonus 101 Cooking Tips: Kitchen & Dining

 

Ok, this book looks fun! It looks like stuff I could do even with my ds. It's saying 8-12, but my dd was doing that stuff much, much earlier. Just depends on the kid.

 

Amazon.com: Cooking Class: 57 Fun Recipes Kids Will Love to Make (and Eat!) (9781612124001): Deanna F. Cook: Books
 

 

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I was going to recommend Raddish too. Check them out on Facebook, starting Wednesday they are doing a series with live cooking. This week is salsa.

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