Home Ec By Malia Russell How to Teach to Children
Give lots of praise when they succeed and gentle
suggestions when they need a little help.
As is true with many home management skills, it is usual- ly best to teach children skills uch as baking and cooking
alongside you, as you work. What I discovered after my oldest moved out and
established her own home as a married
woman was that she lacked confidence.
Suddenly, it was challenging for her to
independently prepare things we had
cooked many times together in our own
kitchen. This helped me realize that simply joining me in the kitchen should not
be the end of my children’s training, so
with our younger children, I have adopted a little different plan. I want them to
enjoy cooking with me and to be confident, independent cooks once they have
their own homes.
Here is the plan I put in place.
Whenever possible, I will have one or
more of the children working with me
in the kitchen at whatever level they are
able to help. Once they are ready to learn
a new skill, I take time to explain how to
make a new dish or use a new kitchen
tool. I let them work with me a few times
until they gain enough confidence to carry out the task alone.
The next time we make a particular
food, I will let them try to prepare it
without my assistance but with me nearby to answer questions. I do my very best
to avoid interfering or taking over.
Finally, when they are ready, I try to
step away from the kitchen altogether
and let them prepare the food without
any help at all. To make this more fun, I
often take pictures of the foods they have
prepared and post them on our blog or
Facebook pages. They really enjoy this
Some of the things I have discovered
that help children learn these important
skills are as follows:
beginning to end before starting to
follow the recipe. As they work in
the kitchen with Mom, they may ob-
serve that I rarely read the recipes, and
naturally they will conclude that is the
proper way to do things, which works
fine if you have years of experience as
a cook and know your recipes well.
However, that is not an appropriate
practice for a new cook. Take time to
read through recipes with them.