Cooking with your kids can be so much fun and a great way to keep them occupied while learning essential life skills. One of the most frequent requests I get on my instagram is for tips for cooking with young kids.
If you are a frequent reader of this blog you know that our family spends a lot of time in the kitchen - it is our favorite thing to do! I love when my kids can have fun all the while I am getting something done. Here are a few tips I have learned along the way for making cooking with young kids easier and less stressful too.
This article first appeared, in part, in the Spring 2022 Issue of Meraki Magazine in collaboration with Pineapple Sunshine , my friend Shanlee's clothing company that makes the cutest pjs! My kids have been wearing her PJs for years.
Le Chef's Wife tips for cooking with young kids
- Start young – as young as you can. Even when my daughter was not able to stand I would have her help out from her highchair. Kids are great at sorting chocolate chips or berries.
- Portion out ingredients in separate bowls. You can better control the measurements this way and kids are great at dumping ingredients from one bowl to another. I love our Duralex Bowl set - we have multiple sizes for cooking.
- Try to contain complicated steps. ( i.e. Always crack eggs into a separate bowl first, never directly into the batter: it is one thing to fish egg shells out of one cracked yolk but it is quite another to wonder where the eggshell went in the chocolate chip cookie batter!)
- Teach safety from a young age. If my daughter starts acting impatient, we need to leave the kitchen. My son gets strapped into a high chair when I am flipping crêpes with my daughter - he wants to be in the middle of everything!
- Follow the French culinary technique of mise-en-place. Fully set up your work station before you actually start cooking. This is key for cooking with toddlers because you can start and stop as many times as needed. I never turn the heat on the stove until all the ingredients are fully prepared and ready to go.
6. Narrate as you go. Explain colors, shapes and flavors. Cooking can be incredibly educational for young kids. Not only does it broaden their vocabulary - it can teach them to be less picky eaters too!
7. Make cleaning up part of the fun. Loading the dishwasher and putting ingredients away are fun tasks for a toddler. Give them what they can handle and progressively offer them bigger tasks. When the meal is done – both kids help me carry dishes back to the kitchen and wipe down the table. My son is great at wiping the table with a sponge – so much fun!
Recipes to cook with kids
Our family French Crêpe Recipe is a fun, simple recipe to cook with young kids.
My grandmother’s Crêpes are truly as easy to make as 1-2-3. The end result are thin, light and spongy crêpes that remind me of the ones we would get in France. The recipe card is included below.
Serve once you have made Crêpes with all the batter so that you can actually sit and enjoy them with your family. For an extra special treat, serve with Le Chef’s Wife Easy Fresh Fruit Compote
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Do you cook with your kids? What do you do to make it easier for them to cook with you? Leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you!
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This French Crepe recipe is a fun, simple recipe to cook with young kids.
My grandmother’s Crêpes are truly as easy to make as 1-2-3. The end result are thin, light and spongy crêpes that remind me of the ones we would get in France.
- 1 cup of flour
- 2 cups of milk
- 3 large eggs
- 1 pinch of salt
- Optional for taste: ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or the zest of a lemon.
Whisk 3 large eggs in a bowl with 2 cups of milk. Sift 1 cup of flour. Whisk together until smooth. Add a pinch of salt to taste. For flavor I like to add in some lemon zest. Sometimes I will add half a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Feel free to add the flavoring you wish but they are also yummy without. Pas de stress!
This batter is excellent when it sits overnight, but honestly, I rarely have the foresight to do this. Most times I whip up the Crêpe batter right before eating.
HOW TO COOK THE CRÊPES
Prepare a Crêpe pan (or simply a non-stick frying pan) with a pat of butter on medium-low heat and then spoon a small ladle full of batter onto the pan as you swirl the pan around to make a thin, round Crêpe. There should be just a paper thin layer of batter over the pan. When the batter starts to bubble, it is time to give a quick flip with a spatula. Cook until golden. I like to have 2 pans going at the same time for efficiency . Pile up the cooked Crêpes as you go on a cookie sheet in the oven (set to the lowest heat possible) so that they stay hot. I like to add a fresh pat of butter to the pan for each Crêpe. This recipe makes about 10-12 Crêpes and can easily be doubled or tripled!
I suggest serving once you have made Crêpes with all the batter so that you can actually sit and enjoy them with your family. For an extra special treat, serve with Le Chef’s Wife Easy Fresh Fruit Compote
Keywords: crepes , french crepes, crêpes, french crêpes, brunch