Cooking With Kids

Cooking!

Cooking!

Franci got a super cute apron for Christmas, but she hasn’t had a chance to use it. I have yet to include her in any of my cooking or baking until now, because she’s not even two yet. After seeing a few holiday pictures of other toddlers helping their moms cook, I began to wonder what I was waiting for. She knows how to follow directions and loves to help with other house work. I’m sure she will be able to help pour ingredients into a bowl, even if she can’t yet stir them in.

One reason I want to start including Frances in the kitchen is because she has been very particular about food lately. We’ve been so busy with the new baby that I have let her eat way too much peanut butter and jelly and not enough vegetables. I’m hoping to reverse that trend soon.

I’m not sure where to begin, however, so I’m hoping our readers have some good ideas. How do your kids help in the kitchen? What tasks do they contribute to? What sort of things do you cook/bake? If you have any good recipes, please share!

Comments

  1. Coriander says:

    My two and four year old can help with the following:
    washing non-leafy vegetables in a colander
    peeling carrots
    grating cheese
    stemming cilantro and parsley
    putting measured baking ingredients into bowls
    adding spices from the jar
    measuring dry goods for baked goods
    adding salt and pepper
    tasting
    pouring wet ingredients like milk into bowls cracking eggs
    (look carefully for shells after this)
    stirring things that aren’t on the stove
    patting out pizza dough, spreading sauce on pizza dough
    really any of the non-cutting parts of making pizza work out pretty well
    the sprinkling is the favored part
    cutting olives, strawberries, and grapes
    dropping drop cookies onto the cookie sheet
    massaging kale for kale chips
    putting chopped ingredients into a salad bowl
    sample the ingredients for a salad

    I find that cooking with children require ample patience, which I don’t always have. They do love to be called in to help with the cooking and kitchen chores. They also really like to set the table, which actually helps lighten my workload. I think that pizza and salad are the favorite dishes to help with.

  2. So far I am/have been teaching my 5 and 6 yr olds to locate and bring me all of the utensils, cookware, spices and other ingredients I may need. They don’t have all the spices memorized yet but they know a few of them by sight. That is a great place to start, I think. I have the kids unload the dishwasher and that helps them learn where everything goes. They can also wash and peel vegetables and have started helping me with stirring and sautéing. We just recently began learning how to chop vegetables. They have their own kid-sized chopping knives (Opinel brand) with finger guards. They love it. It is extremely slow-going but I know it’s going to pay off for both them and me.

  3. Thank you for the great ideas! Pizza is Franci’s favorite food, so we might have to make some at home soon.

    It is so cool that you can get safe chopping knives for kids. I can’t wait until my girls are old enough to try one out!

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