The five rules to remember the next time you let the kids in the kitchen

I’m guilty of it. I always think it will be a great idea to let my daughter help with the cooking, but once the mixture ends up all over the kitchen bench I’m wishing I never suggested it.

You want to spend time with them but also have to get dinner cooked, so combining the two seems like a great idea – until you get started.

I’m not the only one. A survey of 8500 families found their children lack basic food knowledge and cooking skills, simply because parents fear the mess and stress that comes from letting them into the kitchen.

The Life At Home Report, commissioned by Ikea, shows nearly half of all parents feel guilty about the lack of time they have to play with their children, but as many as two out of three parents believe it is important to involve their children in the cooking process.

kids cooking

As many as nine in 10 parents surveyed say they already involve their kids in activities around food, but the children are mostly doing dull tasks like helping to clear plates or wash the lettuce.

The flat pack furniture giant believes it’s time to let kids into the kitchen and has created the five rules that make cooking fun for kids (and manageable for parents). It says instead of being a place run by rules, the kitchen should be a place for coming together without fear of mess and scolding.

1. Don’t correct kids all the time

It makes children want to run out the room – and never come back.

2. Don’t get mad if children fail

Everybody learns from their mistakes.

3. Don’t rush them

Learning takes time, so parents should try to relax for a minute.

4. What’s wrong with being messy?

It’s actually more fun!

5. It’s ok to get tired or lose interest

Remember that they’re only young.

To make sure the message is really drummed in, take a look at the accompanying video:

The IKEA Life at Home report surveyed 8500 people in New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, Moscow, Mumbai and Shanghai about their everyday thoughts and habits in the kitchen, to find out how the moments around food affect wellbeing.

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