How to Teach Kids to Cook Healthy Plant-Based Recipes
Teaching your kids to cook healthy plant-based recipes is a great family activity to keep your kids busy and self-reliant. The benefits of kids learning the vital life skill of cooking for themselves is crucial. You can start right now!
Cooking is the most important life skill that kids are not learning today!
Most kids today don’t know how to cook. With our busy schedules, we don’t always take the time to show our kids how to make meals or learn simple kitchen skills. And kids are busier nowadays than we ever were!
Vegan cooking and vegan baking with kids!
Get this colorful 70+ page booklet to make learning easy! Your kids can make journal entries on the recipes they are learning. They will also attain kitchen skills and do activities to keep them motivated through the process.
Teaching your kids how to cook
- Learning to cook is a fun activity.
- It will make mealtimes easier!
- In the long run when everyone can pitch in and help.
- Create independent self-reliant children.
The best thing about teaching kids to cook vegan is that there is no meat or eggs to worry about, so you have no contamination issues to worry about. You will have less mess to deal with and cleaning up is so much easier!
Age-appropriate learning how to cook
Meet your kids’ skill set where they are at. Give them age-appropriate tasks, but get them involved where you see fit. Help them along by showing first, then watching as they do it, and finally they will progress to doing it on their own. Our final goal should be to empower them to learn and feel proud of what they accomplish. This will encourage them to learn and desire to help out more often.
Things to teach your kids about cooking vegan
The following list requires your discernment for age and skill level. Always show them first, and watch them do it a few times before allowing them to do anything unsupervised.
How to help with food preparations
There is so much to learn, and here are some ideas of things you can choose from. You may already have some of these things mastered, so you can check them off your list.
- How to read a recipe, measure things out (show them measuring spoons and cups and ask for their help to measure ingredients.)
- What do all these kitchen words mean? (introduce them to the proper kitchen vocabulary)
- How to peel, core, chop and cut fruit and vegetables. (safe knife skills)
- Frying, sauteing, boiling, baking, broiling.
- Sifting, measuring, mixing, mashing.
- How to make pasta, rice or potatoes. (when to boil water beforehand, and when to have items in the pot before putting the element on).
- Easy recipes to make with pantry items (you may not always have access to fresh veggies) that’s ok – you can make great meals from frozen, canned, and dry pantry items.
- How to prepare your own healthy snack, (cut up fruit, nuts/seeds, popcorn, veggies/crackers and hummus, silken tofu yogurt dip, tacos and salsa, guacamole, cheese sauce…)
- Get your kids to help with flipping quesadillas, pancakes, stirring pasta, mashing potatoes, etc.
Important non-cooking kitchen skills
Boxes, cans, jars, and bottles! How to maneuver around the kitchen, and what goes where?
- How to use a can opener
- Rinsing beans by putting in a sieve and running under the water.
- How to do dishes, bring dishes to sink and rinse them off. How to load the dishwasher and turn it on (if you have one). Give them the rules of what doesn’t go in the dishwasher, and how to wash those items by hand.
- Show them where everything goes in the kitchen (dishes and pantry foods) – help put food away from the grocery store
- How to store and refrigerate foods
- Which foods to put in pantry/fridge
- How to recycle leftovers
- How to pick out fruit and vegetables at the grocery stores
Obviously, this is the first thing that should be discussed before letting your child do anything independently in the kitchen. And, as always, these appliances should only be operated when your child is at the proper age and skill level, and always with supervision.
- Stovetop safety (ie: make sure the pot handle is not sticking out from the stove)
- microwave safety (do not put anything metallic in)
- How to use blenders, toaster ovens, toasters, instant pots, ovens, stand-alone mixers, griddles, etc.
Kids have little hands and may need some smaller tools to work in the kitchen.
Kids Learning Progression for cooking on their own
We should always show our children and guide them through when we are teaching them something new. It looks like this:
- Mom showed me
- We did it together
- I made it with mom watching
- I made it myself!
Get a spreadsheet system in a booklet for your kids and once they make a dish by themselves, they will earn a sticker/star or something special for their booklet. Also, every time they learn to do 5 new things on their own, you can celebrate with a special meal, or cake, etc…
Teach them your favorite meals and you have them help alongside you as you guide and oversee. Make sure to be encouraging, give them the space to learn at their own pace and make it fun. The goal is for them to have confidence in helping and learning new skills. Pretty soon they will be helping you out with regular meals!
Denise has been vegan since 2017 and in that time, has veganised her life. Her passion is helping others do the same. She has published a vegan guidebook entitled “Simply Happy Vegan” and writes about everything to do with a healthy plant-based lifestyle.