Ways to Teach Your Kids How to Cook

My daughter just turned four years old when the first lockdown was announced here in the Philippines. Prior to that, I was already trying to train her in doing age-appropriate household chores with my hopes of making her self-sufficient when she grows up. 

Cooking is a very important life skill. I was really planning to teach her how to cook, but I wasn’t expecting that she would show interest at a very young age. I didn’t even ask her to do things around the kitchen, that’s why my husband and I were both surprised when she asked us if she could learn how to cook.

Again, it just came to her naturally, but looking back, I think these things may have helped her in being more excited to learn how to cook.

1. We expose her to different kinds of cuisine.

Prior to this blog experiencing a very slow death because of my inactivity, this place used to be a very active food blog. I remember posting new restaurant reviews and recipes at least once a week. Suffice to say, I have always been a foodie. When Tatay and I started dating almost two decades ago, I was able to influence him into becoming more adventurous in trying out new foods. And we have been doing the same with Zayne. I was surprised that as a three-year-old, she was enjoying focaccia bread dipped in olive oil, balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese. She knows a lot of Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Italian dishes by name. She simply loves food! And I believe that when you love food, learning how to cook will be easier. 

Let me know if you need more proof of Zayne being a real foodie! :p

2. She sees me enjoying in the kitchen.

“Your child will follow your example, not your advice.”

I grew up with a mother who loves to cook. My grandmothers were great cooks, too. Although being a wife and mom sometimes makes me feel that cooking has already turned into a “chore,” I still love being in the kitchen. I believe that a great part of why I love to cook is because I was also encouraged to do well in the kitchen by my mother. I guess Zayne showed interest in cooking because she saw how much I enjoyed doing it for our family.

Four-year-old Zayne showing her game face while doing pastillas balls during her virtual class

3. We ask for her input.

I am a very busy working mom. For years, I have been sharing on my IG stories how I do weekly meal preparations. Instead of cooking every day, I spend my Saturday mornings cooking meals that would last us for the entire week. With this, I make sure to include not only Tatay but also Zayne in choosing what to eat. I am actually very surprised with the complexities of her suggestions. There are times when she even rates my cooking!

We also take turns in choosing what and where to eat when we go to a restaurant. And yup, Zayne always has a say! 

Zayne giving a thumbs up after eating pasta at her favorite restaurant

4. We watch food-related shows as a family.

Zayne grew up seeing me watch The Food Network. We decided to have our cable subscription stopped, but that didn’t stop us from watching food-related shows. Binge-watching Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix helped us get through the first lockdown back in 2020. Now, we love watching Tzuyang and Strictly Dumpling on YouTube! We are currently watching the anime series Restaurant to Another World. :)

5. We let her play cooking simulation games.

I recently discovered a site that has a variety of food-related games. I introduced this to Zayne, and she was immediately fascinated with the cooking simulation games. She first tried the Sweety Cooking Chocolate Game which lets kids follow a recipe in baking a cake.

I enjoyed playing Burger Shop which is a restaurant simulation game. The aim is to serve customers the exact burger they ordered. Zayne just watched me play it because it gets a bit stressful for her at later levels. Haha!

6. We let her use a real cooking set.

Last Christmas, her Ninang Aubrey gifted her with a real mini cooking set for kids. She was so excited to have her own pots, pans, utensils, and even a stove! Sometimes she would just pretend play to cook, but we also let her use the set to cook real food. I know that it results to a lot of mess, but that is where the learning begins! She loves the cooking set so much that she even thought of using it in her most recent vlog!

Please subscribe to her channel! ^_^

It’s important to know and take notice of our child’s interest instead of imposing on them what we believe it should be. And once we’ve noticed it, it’s our job as parents to help them be more equipped in honing their skills and talents. 

I’m no expert in parenting, but I do hope that the above tips will help other parents in case they see their child showing interest in cooking. :)

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