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Cooking with Your Junior Masterchef

Make your young one the head chef!

The best example moms have witnessed today on the capabilities of aspiring little chefs would be the recently introduced, increasingly popular TV show, ‘Junior Masterchef’.  If kids between the ages of 8 – 12 can prepare dishes deemed worthy of being presented at the best restaurants in Australia, there’s no doubt that our little ones can’t do the same. Don’t limit their contribution in the kitchen to just sampling the food but get them actively involved. Ensure that their safety is secured at all times, especially when it comes to using sharp implements and dealing with fire.

Get their help in cleaning vegetables and fruits, stirring curries or soups and washing up dishes. Give them simple recipes to start with to prepare under your strict supervision, of course. Once they get used to it, you can move them onto bigger projects, giving them a sense of achievement. Acknowledge their victories in the kitchen among family and loved ones and you’ll see a definite boost in their confidence and personality as a result as well.

Grocery store tours

If you agree on a particular recipe, go shopping for ingredients together. This guarantees that you get to spend quality time with your young one whilst giving them much needed exposure into the world of budgeting and spending wisely. Give them the freedom to select the ingredients and teach them how items such as vegetables, fruits, eggs and meat should be selected. This will definitely be a valuable skill that they will treasure when they grow up.

Independence in the kitchen

When the actual task of cooking starts, start teaching your child basics such as the importance of hygiene, safety and discipline in the kitchen. Taking their age into consideration, give them specific tasks to complete, which will help them feel important and included. With proper training and practice, your children will be able to explore the creative and exciting culinary world and eventually experiment with dishes by themselves.

Give them the chance to make things on their own like jellies or puddings that come in packets, possibly even a fruit or vegetable salad and make sure they enjoy their time in the kitchen!

Lighten up

Remember that being neat and tidy is not always easy in the kitchen. Remember that kids cannot be counted on to always be neat because it’s more fun to be a bit messy. Even if everything doesn’t go perfectly, try to keep the mood light. If the egg gets more smashed than cracked, offer some guidance and let your child try again. Little by little, these skills will be instilled in them and they will feel a sense of accomplishment once it’s been mastered. 

Shower them with praise

Be sure to compliment your assistant chefs on a job well done. Give them the first taste of whatever you cooked as a team and promote their confidence by getting their input on what the next kitchen adventure should be.

It’s time to go enjoy the yummy dishes you and you Junior Masterchef prepared.

Bon Appétit!

Time factor bothering you?

If you’re a working mum, cooking can be something you dread at the end of the day. Find some easy-to-make recipes beforehand and plan ahead. To cook efficiently you need to find meals that you like which don’t require much time to cook. To maximize on the limited time you have, decide what meals you want for the week and then make one trip to the grocery store to buy the necessary food supplies.