The next step is to set rules regarding how to handle knives and other sharp instruments, hot pans, and boiling ingredients. Children can be taught to prepare food by first making things that don't require cooking, and then slowly allowing them to do it in a microwave.
Teaching your kids to cook can be fun when you create a relaxed atmosphere.
When you first started cooking, how did it turn out?
Chances are, more than one dish was broken and some messes made. Things happen all the time. Taking part in cooking should be enjoyable, not a chore, even though the privilege comes with responsibilities like cleaning up and leaving the kitchen tidy afterwards.
The basics should be your starting point. Teach your children the correct use and purpose of the different utensils. The right ingredients for the right dishes should be introduced to them, as well as how to use herbs and spices. It's easy to teach your kids fractions and chemistry while they're in the kitchen, so you won't even realize they're having fun!
Simple recipes are a helpful place to start. Today, there are some great cookbooks for kids with step-by-step instructions and pictures, so kids can see what a recipe should look like as they assemble it.
Let your children shine. Allow them to plan -- and cook -- one night as they learn more complicated recipes. You can help your kids appreciate the effort that is put into cooking by letting them plan the meal and even shop for the ingredients.
You can begin to introduce foods from different cultures as your children become more skilled. You can make many recipes, such as French crepes or Italian lasagna, and your kids will learn to appreciate a variety of foods.
It is easier for younger children to participate in cooking when they have tools that are their own size. Many department stores and specialty stores carry kid-sized kitchen utensils.
Your memories will one day be as delicious as those chocolate chip cookies you're baking right now, so take plenty of pictures.