Cooking with kids can be a rewarding activity. It teaches them about nutrition, gives them a useful life skill and exercises their knowledge of math and reading. It can be a lot of fun, and give you a new way to bond as a family.
With the rising popularity of vacation home rentals that feature kitchens, many families are starting to use their vacation time as a chance to teach their children these important skills. In fact, a recently released study from Wyndham Vacation Rentals reports that nearly 1 in 3 travelers think vacation is a good time to teach kids how to cook (Wyndham Vacation Rentals Cooking on Vacation Survey 2016).
Setting the Foundation
When planning to teach your kids to cook on vacation, it pays off to do your research ahead of time.
- Pick out some kid-friendly recipes online and print them out. The best options have simple instructions and ingredients, don’t involve a lot of fancy gadgets or tools, and have steps that involve measuring and mixing dry ingredients, especially for younger children who shouldn’t be using knives or stoves.
- Make sure it’s a recipe that kids love to eat! Great options include make-your-own-pizzas, smoothies, pancakes, omelets, chocolate chip cookies, and tacos. You can even have your kids help you with the research – they will be more likely to be enthusiastic when you are making things that they chose themselves.
- On your first day pick up the ingredients you will need for the week. One quick trip to the local food store or farmer's market, and it won’t feel like such a chore after that. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that cooking some of your own meals on vacation can be a major budget helper: vacationers report saving an average of $898 a week by using the kitchen in their vacation rental home! (Source: Wyndham Vacation Rentals Cooking on Vacation Survey 2016)
For some recipe inspiration, check out 7 Easy Recipes here.
A Recipe for Success
After you’ve prepped the recipes and ingredients, the real fun of teaching and cooking can begin! Here are a few tips to get your started.
- Be patient: Remember that learning something new takes time. This is why vacation is the perfect way to work on these skills – you finally have time to spare!
- Trust them with some of the important tasks: If you give them tasks like putting the cheese on the pizza or rolling out cookie dough, they will feel like they are truly making something special.
- Let them mess up, and make a mess: Teach your kids how to do things differently, but also let them know that it’s okay to make mistakes. It’s just cookies, after all. And, fight the urge to stop them from making a mess. It’s a part of the creative process!
- Talk about why we eat certain foods: This is a great time to teach them about why fruits and vegetables are so important to our bodies. Don’t talk about calories or fat; talk about how these foods make us feel strong and grow tall! You will be setting the foundation for a healthy relationship with food.