Dan has been eagerly awaiting his first night of cooking for months. He chose a roast ages ago because, and I quote “Because I’ve watched you mum you just cut a few vegies up, put the meat in and then you get to go play til it’s cooked’. Smart boy!!! We’ve decided Sunday nights is his night to cook and this week it coincided with the roast I decided we were having. Next week he will choose on Saturday what he’s cooking on Sunday night.
Part of cooking is you also do the dishes and cleaning up. Again that takes patience, teaching, mentoring, role modelling and doing the hard things for them until they’re able but allowing/making them do the things they can such as cups, plates, forks and spoons etc for now.
Below is a simplified step by step guide of how I taught Dan to cook his first roast. When we have another roast I will reiterate the steps and this will happen for some time until he’s capable all on his own. I have no idea how long that will take, it will take as long as it takes for him to do it safely and confidently :)
(So all these steps Dan did himself unless stated otherwise with me instructing each step).
Step 1. Choose the meal the day before and ensure you have all ingredients.
Step 2. Get the meat out of the freezer the night before.
Step 3. Wash hands and turn oven on to 180.
Step 4. Take the vegies out of the crisper.
Step 5. Get your utensils – cutting board, knife, coconut oil, roasting pan.
Step 6. Wash potatoes with a scourer.
Step 7. Safely using a sharp knife cut the potato in half, then half again and again. (For the bigger potatoes I had to do the first cut as they were too tough for him).
Step 8. Place the pieces in the pan with the chicken.
Step 9. Mum cuts the pumpkin because it’s super tough.
Step 10. Show Dan how to slice sweet potato and let him do it.
Step 11. Mum opens the oven and Dan passes her the roasting tray.
Step 12. Once it’s cooked Mum takes it out of the oven and Dan helps serve it up.
Step 13. Together we do the dishes with him doing the bulk of it.
On his way to being an independent young man.
Teaching kids takes patience. It takes knowing their limitations and capabilities but pushing them to realise how much they can do. It takes knowing their fears. It takes patience. It takes role modelling by breaking down every step along the way. It takes muchhhhhhh longer than it would take you to do it yourself NOW, however in a few months they will be doing it all themselves. A little time and patience invested now pays dividends for a lifetime.
Happy cooking guys. If you’re teaching your kids to cook please send me a photo via Facebook or Instagram and we’ll feature you and your budding independent cook on our page.
Dan has asked me to tell you to tell your kids “it’s really fun and makes you feel like a grown up but let the grown ups help because some of it’s really hard now but if you eat your protein your muscles will grow and soon you will be able to do it all yourself but not yet, soon”. (lol wise boy).
1 minute video of Dan cooking on Mentor Mumma’s Youtube channel: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nx-7Q1idcpM
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(Bachelor Psych Science Hons) and mum to 3 + 1.