Teaching kids about microwave cooking is an excellent way to help them learn how to be more independent. The age at which at a child is old enough to use a microwave varies depending upon his personal maturity level, but many parents start to teach the basics of microwave cooking when a child is between 8 and 10 years old.
Before you allow your child to use a microwave, review safety rules. Your child should never pull anything out of the microwave without using pot holders to protect his hands. Never microwave aluminum foil or steel containers, because of the risk of causing a fire or damaging the microwave. To avoid harmful chemicals often present in plastic containers from leaching into food, use glass containers for microwaving whenever possible.
Microwave Baked Potatoes
Baked potatoes are easy for kids to make in the microwave if you use a baked potato bag. A baked potato bag is a handmade cotton bag used to cook potatoes in the microwave. The fibers in the bag hold the moisture in the potato, which gives you a perfectly cooked potato with tender skin. Place a wet potato in the bag and microwave for three minutes. Flip the pouch over, then microwave for another three minutes. Show your child how to add toppings such as cheese, sour cream and chili to the potato.
If your child has a sweet tooth, show her how to make a microwave brownie in a mug. This single serving dessert is a great project for teaching kids how to measure ingredients accurately. Combine 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons water, one teaspoon vanilla extract, a pinch of salt, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, and 2 tablespoons all purpose flour in a 12 ounce microwave safe coffee mug. Microwave for 75 seconds. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.
Pasta is a simple yet filling meal for kids to make in the microwave. Add one cup water to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 2 1/2 minutes or until water is boiling. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil and 2 ounces macaroni for 12 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Add your favorite jarred spaghetti sauce and a sprinkle of grated mozzarella cheese before serving.
Teach your child how to make a microwave omelet and you might be able to buy yourself a few extra minutes of sleep on the weekend. Whisk three eggs in a small bowl. Add cheese and bacon bits. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large microwave safe bowl. Add the egg mixture, cover the bowl with a paper towel and microwave for one minute. Stir the mixture and microwave for another minute.