‘Tis season for holiday cheer, but also to brace yourself the impending chaos in the kitchen. As the holidays come around, so do the miniature sous chefs and they’re armed with cookie cutters and a superpower like no other to turn flour into confetti. It’s Winter break, the kids are out of school and bored with a vengeance. The kitchen, once a sanctuary of culinary serenity is about to become ground zero for spills, flour fights, laughter, and memories.
Don’t worry though, we’ve got you covered. Consider this your survival guide to navigate the kitchen chaos with the small culinary enthusiasts.
First and foremost is safety! Minimize and eliminate the risk of injuries by ensuring that your kitchen is child-proofed. Some simple measures you can take include:
- Keep sharp objects such as knives out of reach.
- Coil loose appliance cords so they’re not a tripping hazard or within reach of a curious young one who may pull on it.
- Turn pot handles inwards so they’re not in the way for anyone walking by, and beyond the reach of young children.
- Avoid wearing loose clothing if possible, or secure it so that it’s out of the way (this tip goes for you and all the sous chefs in the kitchen).
Rules and Expectations
Before the chaos begins, have a chat with your kids and outline what tasks they can and can not assist with, as well as what rules are non-negotiable. Establishing what’s expected of them can help avoid misunderstandings and accidents!
Age Appropriate Tasks
Assign and tailor tasks to align with the children’s age and skill level. For example, younger children can handle simple mixing of ingredients or decorating, while older kids may be able to handle tasks such as measuring ingredients or chopping – with supervision of course.
Designate a set area as the sous chef station for the kids. Set up the space with safe utensils, lightweight and shatterproof dishes, and maybe some colourful kid sized aprons. Having their own work space and tools will provide them with a sense of autonomy and ownership.
Having multiple chefs in the kitchen, and little ones at that will inevitably slow things down – but that’s okay! Practice patience and offer support when it’s needed. Keep in mind that the experience is an enriching one for the kids, and the journey is more valuable than the end result.
Celebrate the Results
Whether it’s a lopsided gingerbread house, muffins that turned out flat, or a messily decorated cake, be encouraging and take pride in the accomplishment of the kids. Celebrate the results, despite their imperfections by displaying and enjoying the food the children helped create.
Capture the Memories
Moments like these while chaotic at the time, turn into cherished memories. So, don’t forget to capture them on camera! Years from now, when you look back on photos of your kids covered in flour or in the midst of a spill you’ll have forgotten about the mayhem and remember the time fondly.