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Cooking with Kids

Updated on August 31, 2007

Preparing snacks and meals together is a great way for parents and children to spend quality time together. I think teaching children to cook at a young age is very important to their educational and social development.

When kids learn to prepare food they learn many important lessons, including:

  • Creativity
  • Decision Making
  • Enjoying the fruits of their labors
  • Follow-through
  • How to Follow Instructions
  • Improved Language Skills
  • Planning Skills
  • Science Knowledge and Skills
  • Self-sufficiency
  • Teamwork
  • Weights and measures
  • Many other important lessons

In addition to the many different educational benefits of cooking, parents and children who cook together enjoy the bonding that comes from spending time together and creating meals together. Many grownups have very fond memories of the time they spend with their own parents and grandparents in the kitchen as children. Quality time spent in the kitchen together, as a family, is invaluable for everyone involved.

There are many different resources for parents who are interested in helping their children learn to enjoy the actions and benefits of meal preparation. What you'll need to get started are a selection of child appropriate supplies and some kid-friendly recipes.

Cooking Supplies for Children

It's a good idea to get your kids their own cooking supplies. They will have more of a sense of ownership of their involvement in the kitchen if they have tools to call their own. Additionally, you won't be worried about "collateral damage" to your supplies.

  • Apron
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Potholder
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Wooden Spoons

Kid-Friendly Recipes

There are a number of online resources and cookbooks designed to help kids learn how to cook. Check out some or all of the following resources:

  • Children's Recipes: This site is a great resource for finding kid-friendly recipes. Children can also submit recipes to the site, which will be posted with their name. The possibility of seeing their recipe creations and names online might be a great incentive to encourage your kids to commit to learning to cook.
  • Cooking with Kids: This site features educational materials designed to teach pre-school through middle school aged children all about food and cooking. You can download free lesson plans for tasting classes and cooking classes for kids.
  • Kidding Around in the Kictchen: This informative site provides an extensive selection of recipes that you can select based on the age of your children. You'll also find videos of child-oriented cooking shows and information about ordering the Kidding in the Kitchen cookbook, written by Lisa Elaina, a working mother of two.
  • Star Chefs: This site features tips, recipes, and suggestions for parents who want to teach their kids to cook from Lynn Fredericks, author of Cooking With Kids.


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