Out of all the jobs around the kitchen, teaching kids to use a
microwave is one of the easiest and one of the most useful.
Your child will still feel involved in the cooking process and will
love the chance to play with a fully interactive machine that
produces real life results. You will initially need to supervise
them using the machine to make sure that good food doesn’t get
ruined, but once they’ve got the hang of the initial controls, you
can let them explore the full functionality of the microwave.
Planned Kids Cooking Curriculum
~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~
Teaching Microwave Cooking
When teaching kids to use a microwave, there are four basic
things that they need to know if they are to become the main users
of the machine:
Once you feel that they’ve mastered these techniques, then they can
be left to experiment with the microwave to see what else they can
make it do.
The best place to start off with this part of teaching kids to use
a microwave is to get them to reheat leftover food for
themselves. You may want to start your lesson with a quick overview
of how the microwave works, explaining that the microwaves heat the
food up from the outside first, so while something may be hot to
touch, it might not be fully cooked through. Make sure to explain
that microwaves can be extremely powerful, so they’ll need to think
carefully about how much time it needs so that they don’t burn their
food. Then let them experiment with the time and heat settings.
Encourage them to open the door regularly and check. Once they’ve
mastered this, then move them on to microwaving small parts of the
main meal, such as potatoes and rice, to get them used to the idea
that more weight doesn’t necessarily need more time.
Defrosting in the Microwave
This is one of the hardest parts of teaching kids to use a
microwave. If they don’t do it for long enough, the food will be
inedible; if they do it for too long, they’ll ruin the dish. It will
be important to have a lot of small portions put aside that they can
practice on, as the last thing you want is for the family dinner to
be ruined as a part of your training program. Once they can defrost
a meal, move them on to defrosting bread and meat, both of which
require careful timing. Again, encourage them to check on the food
Use the Microwave for Melting
This can be combined with teaching your child how to make baked
goods, as the microwave can be an excellent tool to melt butter and
chocolate. This part of the training will teach them to use the
microwave gently, as most forms of butter won’t survive more than
half a minute in the microwave. Start by choosing a recipe that
needs plenty of melted ingredients and allow them plenty of time to
Make teaching easier with our activities and recipes compiled in one easy to read format.
Cleaning the Microwave
Cleaning the microwave can be a pain, but it will teach your child
to look after themselves, and to let them know that with the power
of being a chef comes the responsibility of keeping their utensils
clean. As they might be putting raw meat in the microwave, be strict
with the standards of cleanliness that you’ll expect from them.
Apart from saving you time, teaching kids to use microwave ovens can
be a great way to get them into cooking. You can begin to build on
the knowledge that they will have gained by incorporating microwave
cooking into child-friendly recipes, and giving them more
responsibility around the kitchen. Be sure to supervise them
regularly and don't make a big fuss if they do make a mistake.
Initially, don’t rely on them doing it right as part of your meal,
and be pleased and excited when they do get it right.