I was working on freezer cooking prep the other day and realized what an incredible learning opportunity it would be for kids! From picking the recipes and figuring out a number of ingredients to purchase, to measuring and mixing, there are activities from the toddler through teen! Granted, it’s all in theory since my kids are grown and gone, but cooking was one thing we always enjoyed doing together.
RESEARCH AND SHOPPING LIST
Picking out the recipes to make, deciding the quantities of ingredients needed, and writing out the shopping list are all tasks that kids can help with. Little ones can check the cupboards and refrigerator for items on the list to see if they’re already available in the quantity you need. Let them count the eggs, weigh the beans, etc.
There’s a lot of prepping necessary for freezer cooking. Older kids can help with the cutting, slicing, and cooking. Younger kids can help with the pouring, mixing, labeling, and carrying items to the refrigerator or freezer. Give your little one some rice to mix and pour if what you’re working on isn’t safe for them.
Don’t forget that shopping can be fun. Really! Have your kids help locate and count ingredients. Weigh produce. And once home, let them help you get everything put away and ready to cook!
BULK FOOD STORAGE
Purchasing in bulk certainly saves money, but being sure the food doesn’t go to waste is key. I buy shredded cheese from Costco and repackage in 1 or 2 cup freezer bags. I do the same with nuts. This would be a perfect activity for kids as young as two. Give them a few bags, a measuring cup, and show them how to do it. Productive? Probably not, but loads of fun and it’ll keep them entertained while you package the rest. Older kids can measure, label, date & store.
Let your children make notes in your cookbook with what worked, what didn’t, the changes they made or want to make next time, and whether or not they liked the recipe. Make sure they initial the note so years later you can look back and know who wrote which notes. Trust me, they’ll be some cute notes in there with some fun spelling!
Enjoy your time in the kitchen with your kids. It’s a memory that lasts a lifetime