Kids In The Kitchen

It’s back to school time and whether your kids are home with you all day or not, you may be interested in how to get your kids in the kitchen. Today we will be offering many tips and ideas on ways to get kids of all ages in the kitchen. What to expect varies based on age and skill level but no matter what there is something for all kids to do. 

How to involve young children:

  • Let them observe you cooking – give them a safe space in the kitchen to watch you and maybe handle safe equipment such as plastic bowls or spoons. 
  •  Let them smell and touch ingredients – even if they aren’t ready to help let them touch and see things as you are putting them into recipes.
  • Make it fun and interesting. Talk to them about what you are doing and making. 
  • When they are ready to help, let them.

o   Pour ingredients

o   Rinse fruit and vegetables

o   Tear greens into pieces

o   Stir batter in a bowl

o   Sprinkle already portioned seasoning

o   Roll out and knead pizza or bread dough

o   Crack an egg

o   Set the timer or set the table

o   Clean up: put silverware in the dishwasher or hold the dustpan while you sweep

How to involve older children:

  • Peel and slice fruits and vegetables
  • Grate cheese
  • Use a can opener
  • Cook with you at the stove
  • Clean countertops and gather dirty dishes
  • Load and unload the dishwasher
  • Make their own side dish
  • Practice proper knife skills

General tips:

  • Find kid’s cookbooks to use – Most of them will have pictures of the foods, show measurements, and each step. 
  • Get a drawer for their cooking tools – try and have some items that fit their hands better and are easier for them to use. 
  • Plant a garden: kids enjoy eating things they plant, water, and pick.
  • Trying a “no bake” or “no cook” recipe. It may be a good area to start and get some kids comfortable cooking.

Don’t forget about safety:

  • Teach kids…

o   About what surfaces and objects are hot in the kitchen

o   What objects are sharp and should be used with supervision

o   About food safety while they help you pack up leftover ingredients and food

o   How to wash their hands and tie long hair back

o   To be cautious with cords

o   To make sure handles on pots and pans don’t stick out on the stove