Getting your kids involved in the kitchen can help them learn, explore, develop healthy relationships with food, and inspire habits and memories that last a lifetime. Starting at an early age, encouraging your children to help with meals can shape the way they see food and also how they prepare it for themselves later on. Here are some tips and tricks for various age groups that are sure to have everyone in the family cooking in no time!
At this age, help your kids get familiar with touching foods. They can mash potatoes, wash fresh fruits and veggies, pour ingredients into mixing bowls, or sprinkle seasonings on finished meals. These young preppers can have fun and lend a hand while you handle the larger tasks!
During this age, children can start helping with more involved tasks. Under proper supervision, they can start chopping soft foods with plastic or kid-friendly knives. This is also a good age to practice reading recipes! Ask them to guide you through the steps on the recipe, and help you find the ingredients and tools you’ll need for each step. They can also measure dry and liquid ingredients, set timers, and help prep the table and clean up after dinner.
This is a great age to give your children more responsibilities. As they can be more independent in the kitchen, have them make salads, build sandwiches, mix ingredients, and more. They can cook with you at the stove or oven, and can learn a lot by making their own muffins or cookies from start to finish. Encourage children at these ages to make their own lunches and come up with their own creations for mealtimes. This is also a great age for kiddos plant their own herb garden and learn more about where their food comes from!
Young adults are curious, learn quickly, and can be inspired while getting more involved in mealtimes. Once you’re sure they know the proper safety measures, have your preteens or teens use appliances like blenders, food processors, the stove, and more. They can be responsible for entire side dishes or even main courses from start to finish. If your kids are interested and excited to be involved, designate one whole meal a week that they can cook for the family. This gives them creative control over their food, allows them to multitask, fosters responsibility, and will help them develop healthy habits to last a lifetime.
Cooking with the whole family is not only a great way to spend time together, but also a great way to learn about nutrition, healthy eating habits, and positive relationships with food. Children of every age can find a place in the kitchen during meal times, no matter how small the task is. Check out our blog for more tips, tricks, and insights on growing healthy families and communities!
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