Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.
Dads who love to go to the kitchen and cook something wonderful for their family should involve their kids too in their process. My dad loves to cook and he starts from Saturday breakfasts to Sunday dinner. He cooks on every weekend and even started to include us in this process from a very early age. We used to cook wonderful dishes with a lot of varieties. By this my mom was very impressed.
Whenever they had an ugly argument or a small fight he used to make her favorite dish and surprise her. We even used to help him in all these things. I think every kid should be involved in the kitchen from an early age so that the comfort zone would remain when they grow up earlier and do the cooking when they have some time. Sometimes it would take longer time and things may become even messy but it may leave some wonderful memories which would last with you forever. If you want your cooking experiences to be more memorable and productive, here are some tips from my dad.
- Simplest Recipes: Start with some simple and easy recipes, so that they can only involve in doing that. If you go with complex dishes that will come as a big mess. You can ask them to find a thing in the cupboard or spring some nuts or ask them to rinse a vessel. This would keep them involved and they will start entering the kitchen from a small age. Start them even teaching how to measure from the measuring cups, that would be an easy task and they will learn it too.
- Kitchen safety: Try to teach them all the kitchen safety right from the childhood. This will make them known to all the safety measures. Tell them to handle with care the sharp objects like knives and other things. Ask them to wash their hands at small intervals especially if they touch or hold any meat or eggs. Washing their hands would keep them away from the germs which they have to know from childhood or else they will not do in the future too. If you have a daughter, ask her to make a pony or put a hair net so that the hair doesn’t come into her eyes while cooking. It even has one more advantage, the hair will not feel while cooking. It’s very important to teach them the kitchen safety or else it may result in some dangerous hazards.
- Cleaning the kitchen: Let them help in cleaning the kitchen. If kids are working you can imagine how much mess they can make. Let them do it themselves only so that they will understand the importance of cleaning. Teach them how important it is to clean while cooking. Let them do the small things like cleaning the counters or putting back the dishes in their place or wiping the dishes.
- Celebrate the victory: Allow them to take the whole credit of the recipe you both prepared. If kids help you in preparing the dish, they feel as if they prepared the whole dish. So start giving them credit the recipe they made. Make them feel it was their effort that the recipe came out so good. Start celebrating with them their first victory and keep on celebrating until they are good cooks.
These are the simple tips for your kids which would keep them involved in the kitchen from the childhood itself and make them great chefs in their family life in the future. Don’t forget them to teach the kitchen safety so that they can be safe.
Thank you for reading.
Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.