Not only am I “GrillGirl”, I’m also Mom to Hunter. It’s important for me that my son learns to cook and appreciates where food comes from. As a Grilling Evangelist, it has always been my goal that he learns to grill. While most parents hope their kid embraces their favorite hobbies and passions, such as favorite sports team or attending their alma mater, I too hope he enjoys grilling as much as me. But even If he grows up to be an astronaut (which would be awesome!), cooking over fire is something he can enjoy his entire life to feed himself and his family. It’s also a skillset that he can hone over time, regardless of where life takes him in the future.
As such, here are my top 5 ways of getting your kids interested in grilling (while always under adult supervision)!
1. Get Your Kid Their Own Grill: Kids love having their own “stuff”, or a kid-sized version of your own favorite toys! When Hunter was a super little guy, he got his very own little “play” grill. It came with fake food and even a little light up heap of charcoal that he could play with. He loved pretending to grill stuff while I grilled on my adult grill at the same time. As he got bigger, he got his own grill to practice on: a portable charcoal grill that is just his size. I still help him grill but he is excited to know it is HIS grill to practice on and makes him feel special and part of the process.
2. Make S’mores: My kid has the world’s biggest sweet tooth, so making s’mores on the grill was a natural first step to introduce him to the grill. If you can’t find a good stick, bamboo skewers are great for roasting marshmallows. Use a smaller grill that is closer to your kid’s height to make it easier for them.
3. Let Them Choose What to Grill: My son loves shrimp so it’s an easy thing we can throw on the grill that I know he will eat. It’s also fast for short attention spans. Ask your kid what they want to grill and let them pick and be part of the entire process.
4. Get Creative: Turn grilling into a party! Get chef hats for the kids or let them cook in last year’s Halloween costume.
5. Use Kid-Friendly Grill Utensils and Accessories: Most accessories made for the grill are oversized, and many are awkward to use even for adults. Look for smaller tongs with rubber handles, smaller grill gloves and even nylon knives so kids can be part of the prep process too. If the accessories fit better, they’ll be more likely to use them, which will also make grilling a safer experience for them!
At the end of the day, grilling is about having fun so don’t over complicate it. If dinner gets burned that is okay, getting your kids into grilling is about the memories you are making together.
Remember to always supervise your kids around the grill and teach them to understand:
Find more grill safety tips to teach your kids here.
Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), represents and provides professional member services and industry support, for manufacturers, retailers, distributors, representatives, service firms, and allied associates for all types of fireplace, stove, heater, barbecue and outdoor living appliances and accessories. Learn More
©2019 HPBA | All Rights Reserved