Kids Gotta Cook
Summer's out, and kids may be bored or get into trouble if not engaged in something useful. Parents often assign chores kids hate, and that's okay, Mom and Dad may hate them too, and that's life. But there's a great opportunity to let kids learn a vital skill they'll almost sure enjoy and take pride in; learning to cook. Small ones can help by helping select, scrub, sort, cut out cookies, dish up food and so on; older ones can learn to actually plan and prepare meals.
To engage their interest, whether it's popping popcorn (a cheap treat unless you use the greasy microwave kind), fixing dips and snacks, baking or learning to plan and prepare healthy veggies. Crock pot meals, or ones that can be almost totally prepared in the oven, are both good choices for kids and parents. It's important to have interesting and useful tools, too.
Children can learn the importance of properly washing away pesticides, molds and germs with veggie wash products.
Give kids a hand up on basic math and even chemistry by helping them measure accurately, and by explaining chemical or physical reactions that make food light, solid and so on. Halving or doubling a recipe (on paper first, and submitted for your approval) is excellent practical math that will help them understand the need for learning arithmetic in school.
Help them learn about clean hands and utensils, techniques, nutrition, presentation and other skills. Let them know that mistakes are okay; that's part of learning. Keep criticism positive, and praise their successes. You'll be keeping them occupied as well as teaching them a skill they'll need and enjoy for years to come.
For more ideas see All About Kids Cooking