Cooking is one of the most awesome activities you can do with a kid. My daughter and I have been cooking together since she was just a baby – she would get a measuring cup or a spoon to bang while I chattered to her about all the things I was doing to prepare a meal.
Truth be told I’m not much of a kitchen expert myself, I’ve learned a lot along with her. I do have a few solid dishes in my repertoire that are pretty good though, and the list is growing. I rarely do very fancy things – simple is often a requirement in my cookbook. I don’t care much what we make, I just enjoy passing the afternoon in the kitchen with my sous chef.
Plus cooking provides some really valuable education. It’s kinda cool to sit back and think about all of the skills involved in cooking even a simple recipe: fine motor skills, math, reading, communication, shapes, following directions, telling time, ingredient identification and understanding, patience, cleaning up, and sometimes, even a little imagination. That’s a lot of learning tucked away in a fun afternoon!
Below is a glimpse into one of our recent kitchen adventures in which we made biscuits. Biscuits are great to make with little ones because they have what I like to call “no-worries” ingredients. That means that if my daughter ends up eating some the raw ingredients (which usually happens), it’s no worries. Vegan recipes come in really handy in this regard as they don’t include eggs or meat. Pinterest is a helpful resource if you’re in need of inspiration. There tons of clever, healthy, and tasty no-worries recipes out there.
The recipe we used this time is the 3-Ingredient Coconut Oil Biscuits from Gimme Some Oven. I’m sure some of you are like, “Yay, I’m obsessed with coconut oil!” and some of you are like, “Oh, coconut oil (eyeroll), how hipster chic. Did you put kale in there too?” What can I say? I guess sometimes I hop on the bandwagon. I have coconut oil around because it’s great for baking, it smells amazing, and I guess it’s not so bad for you, but I have no agenda here. You make whatever biscuits you want. We make all kinds at our house. And these were great, but word to the wise, I found that they work much better with butter and jam/fruit than with savory stuff due to the detectable coconut flavor. I planning to make them again and capitalize on that tropical flavor by mixing in some coconut and pineapple…
Yikes, I wrote a lot. I’m not even sure if anyone is even reading all the text up there. Anyway, on to the pictures!
Cooking has to be a hands-on experience, which is why kids love it. There are so many fun textures for them to explore.
This was before I remembered to put on her apron. Her Grandparents sent us an mini apron a while back and we have gotten lots of use out of it. That is, when I remember to put it on, which I eventually did when I saw her getting flour all over her dress…oops. But messy is good, too, right?
Rolling the dough is definitely a favorite part. What an awesome experience for her to use a real kitchen tool and apply all those playdough skills.
A great opportunity to talk about shapes. And look, the apron is finally on!
Fine motor skills come into play when it’s time to remove the circle from the surrounding dough. Probably don’t want to get your heart set on perfectly round biscuits – I think you’ll have more fun together if you let your helper experience this part freely, even if the biscuits don’t come out quite circular after all.
During baking time you can instill the value of cleaning up your workspace (the prospect of warm biscuits provides excellent motivation for this). Then enjoy your delicious rewards together. Yum!