How to Get Creative in the Kitchen Cooking Foods

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One homeschool kitchen activity that can be fun and creative is cooking. However, if you were raised to think that you need to follow a recipe, you may have difficulty allowing your children to let their creative juices flow. It is time for you to start thinking outside the box and allow your kids to get creative in the kitchen and create their own recipes. Here are some tips for doing just that.

boy cooking in the kitchen

1) Don’t Be Afraid To Let Your Kids Experiment

The number one way to get creative in the kitchen is to experiment with different ingredients. Let your kids taste new food items and talk about the flavors – is it sweet, salty, sour, etc. How will that ingredient pair with other foods?

Furthermore, allow your children to make mistakes. This is how they learn. If they love sweet foods, they may not realize that only using sweet ingredients will not produce a tasty treat. Too much sweet is too much. They will only learn this by experimenting.

In addition, encourage your children to try different techniques. For example, there are many ways to cook dishes, such as pan frying, deep frying, broiling, braising, baking, slow cooking, and pressure cooking, to name just a few. Try out different methods on the same food to allow your children to experience how the flavor profile changes.

Finally, don’t try different combinations of ingredients to make unique flavor profiles. Using different oils and spices will give you unique tastes. In our kitchen, we began to experiment with Asian flavors and my husband has found a new favorite dish.

2) Let Them Try New Ingredients

Enhance your kids creativity with new ingredients. Go into the grocery store and let your kids pick a new fruit or vegetable. Build a meal around that new ingredient.

Furthermore, you can let them pick a country, and study that country. Find a popular dish from that area and let your child make this new creation. If they don’t like it, let them experiment with how they can “improve” on it.

All of these ways of experimenting with new ingredients get them out of their comfort zone. It wasn’t until my son shared his love of Asian dishes that we began incorporating them into our kitchen. I had always used the same type of rice and thought, “rice is rice.” I now know that I prefer sticky short-grain rice.

Other places to look for new ingredients are the outdoors. Look for wild mushrooms, pick dandelions, make jam or a salad, and find other outdoor greens you can incorporate into your cooking.

3) Use Cookbooks or Cooking Shows for Inspiration

Another great way inspire creativity is to watch cooking shows together. For example, my children loved the show Chopped, where the contestants are given “mystery ingredients,” and they must create something out of those ingredients. Create your own version of chopped and invite grandma over to be the judge. Just don’t be surprised if she loves everything that was created.

Iron Chef, The Great British Baking Show, Cupcake Wars, and A Taste of History, which has won 15 Emmys, are other great cooking shows.

Another way to make creative recipes is to go to the library and bring home a stack of unique cookbooks. Let your children just browse through the cookbooks for some inspiration. Some of my favorite recipes have been found this way.

As a homeschool mom, I have also found that it is important to teach your children kitchen skills which includes creating awesome foods. Check out my Homeschooling in the Kitchen post for more inspiration.

In conclusion, there are many different ways to be creative in the kitchen. You can teach your children so many lessons in the kitchen. How to use new foods, how to think outside the box, new cooking techniques, the history of foods, and so much more. Next time you think, “I am so tired of eating my own cooking,” bring the kids into the kitchen and have a fun time. Cooking alone can get boring and dull, but turn on some music, dance, experiment, and get creative in the kitchen.

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