Cooking with my kid has always seemed like more hassle than it's worth. It's hard for me to see past the mess, the extra time it will take to explain everything in a way he can understand, and my own anxiety that he's going to cut or burn himself. Since he's started kindergarten, however, food preparation is something his teachers have been practicing in class and encouraging us to do at home. An independent person who knows how to feed himself is, after all, what I'm aiming for when he's grown.
And I've been impressed with how helpful he's actually been when it comes to simple things like cookies and muffins. Really--the mess isn't that much worse than when I cook myself; the extra time it takes isn't wasted time, it's bonding time; and he has cut himself once and he bounced back impressively! The best part is that when he helps me cook or bake something he's so much more willing to actually try the dish. Over the summer we made vegetable soup based on the Lois Ehlert book Growing Vegetable Soup and he actually ate two bowls of it which is kind of unheard of!
If you're ready to brave cooking with your kids, the good news from the library is that we have you covered with lots of kid-friendly cookbooks. There's a really good chance that at least one of the characters featured in this list is one that resonates with your child. Check one of them out, look it over with them, and see what recipes interest them! Bonus points for taking a picture of your creation and sending it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ready to make something with your little helper? Check out these great cookbooks for inspiration!