In today’s busy world, grandparents can be the first people to teach grandchildren how to cook. It’s not that parents don’t want to: but with two working people in many homes, they simply don’t have the time.
Like any creative activity, grandchildren tend to find cooking fun. A bit of healthy competition never hurts, though – and you can interest your grandkids in new foods by adding an element of gameplay to the mix. Try cooking games that encourage them to get creative – like making gingerbread families, or creating simple balanced dishes using the healthy food groups.
Food, Health and Fun in the Kitchen
Teaching grandchildren about food and health early is one of the most important lessons a grandparent can pass on. When you play your cooking games, think about what your grandchildren need to learn, and then create little tasks to illustrate good cooking practice.
Your games needn’t be limited to cooking and eating alone. Make sure you include important health and safety tips – for example safe knife use, or making sure the equipment is clean – in your play. Try asking your grandchildren to identify which bits of kitchen equipment they’d use to make different imaginary dishes; or getting them to find the dirty spoon and clean it.
Ideas for Simple Cooking Games
Here are a few ideas for games grandparents can play with their grandchildren in the kitchen. Some are messier than others!
1: Junior MasterChef – suitable for grandkids over the age of 5. Teach them about balanced meals by getting out a selection of foods from the major food groups, then asking them to come up with an idea for something nice to eat using as many of the groups as they can. Remember, you can control how complicated the game is by choosing simple ingredients. A ham, cheese and salad sandwich, for example, covers most of the main groups and doesn’t even need an oven!
2: The Equipment Game – suitable for grandchildren over the age of 3. You can play one of two ways, dependent on how old your grandkids are. Either set out a range of equipment you know is safe (for younger grandkids), and ask them which bits they would use to make different foods; or (with older grandkids) ask them to find the right equipment for specific food.
3: Grandma/Grandpa’s Menu – tell your grandchildren something you really like to eat, and then ask them to help you make it. Then get your grandkids to tell you something they really like to eat: and this time, it’s their turn to get you doing the work!
Cooking with grandchildren is fun, educational and a really important way to spend time together. Who knows what you’ll cook up?!