One of the big concerns that many of us Dads that cook have when we start out in the kitchen is money. Food costs money. Experimenting with food costs money. Letting the kids into the kitchen to experiment alongside of us costs money, especially when we have to buy a new carton of eggs every three days.
But we can limit our financial exposure. I have discovered through trial and error, how not to waste money in the kitchen. When I started to follow these simple rules, I had no problem letting my kids into the kitchen to make their own messy experiments alongside me. What happened next was amazing! We started laughing, bonding, and we started to fall in love with cooking. And that is the beauty of being a dad that cooks; you get to bond with your kids during an activity that they look forward to.
We have all eaten delicious food and thought that whoever cooked the food must of have gone to culinary school. But what we all soon realize is that you don’t need to go to school to make great food. Heck, the recipes don’t even need to be fancy. By picking out a few simple ingredients that the kids love, you can explore all kinds of flavor using simple recipes. Pick out the recipes with just a few ingredients and only one kind of cooking, i.e. grilling, broiling, baking, etc. By limiting the ingredients and methods, you limit mistakes.
Kids can be tornadoes of destruction, so contain the chaos by setting up a mini station for them before they enter the kitchen. Setup a miniature version of what you are doing so they can cook alongside you. Make sure they understand that they own that domain and should not leave that area. Now their whirlwind of mess-making is relegated to their station which limits their ability to break eggs and cost you money.
Kids love games and you can make the whole experience a game, including cleanup. Just explain to them that they are chefs for the day, and that their cooking and their cleanliness are grade by chefs (aka mom). They’ll get busy cleaning their little station right alongside you; helping you, bonding with you and spending precious time with you. And for more ideas on how men can become family men through cooking, visit the blog DadsThatCook.com.