Sunday, November 15, 2015

IKEA: 5 Rules That Make Cooking Fun for Kids (and Manageable for Parents) #CookingWithParents

Do you cook with your kids? Do you fuss and worry about how they are doing things and how much mess they are making? It can be frustrating from the parental viewpoint, and it is usually easier and faster to do the cooking on your own. But kids need to learn how to feed themselves for when they get older, and getting them into the kitchen to learn some basic life skills is pretty important. At the same time, kids will get frustrated and feel rather defeated if we keep nagging at them that they are doing things "wrong." Ask yourself - is it really wrong, or just not the way you would do it?

I try to keep my mouth shut and intervene only for safety reasons. But it's not always easy. When it works though, cooking together as a family provides a wonderful time to bond and have some fun. IKEA is a big proponent of parents and kids cooking together, and I'm happy to share with you a piece from them, as well as two fun videos they put together as part of their #CookingWithParents campaign. The kid in the first video is especially adorable. Be sure to watch and learn IKEA's 5 rules for cooking with kids!


Sometimes it sucks to be a kid in the kitchen. Oftentimes they're not even allowed to be part of the cooking, and when they are, it's all regulated and focused on super-dull tasks like washing lettuce or tidying up.

“Cooking With Parents” is a manifesto from children to parents. It presents five rules that can bring fun back into cooking – but more importantly bring kids back into the kitchen.

A room filled with dos and don'ts

The five rules are simple but important. Comments like, “Don't touch that, it's hot!” and “Follow the recipe!” are something most parents have heard themselves say at some point. But instead of being a place run by rules, the kitchen should be a place for coming together – without fear of mess and scolding.

IKEA’s Life At Home Report finds that nearly half of all parents feel a lack of time to play with their children. Naturally, most feel guilty about this. Simultaneously, most children lack basic food knowledge and cooking skills, simply because parents fear the mess and stress that comes from letting them into the kitchen.
  • As many as two of three parents believe it is important to involve their children in the kitchen. 
  • As many as nine in ten parents say they already involve their kids in the activities around food. 
  • Kids are however mostly helping out with clearing plates and doing other things connected to cleaning. In other words, just the boring bits.

Possibly the funnest room of all

With so much time spent cooking every day, why not use it for being together? Because if you think about it from a kid's perspective, the kitchen could actually be the funnest room of all.

IKEA believes that children are the most important people in the world, and that there is a lot to learn by listening to them. So we think it's time to let kids into the kitchen. Letting them in for real. It's time for cooking with parents.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by IKEA. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.

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