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Kids Cooking

Updated on June 26, 2017
retta719 profile image

Married to the comic book geek of her dreams and mother of four amazing young men, Loretta has been working from home full time since 2001.

Dylan choosing vegetables for dinner at Fresh Market
Dylan choosing vegetables for dinner at Fresh Market | Source

Kids are cooks too!

It's easy to overlook kids when it comes to cooking and mealtime.  Sometimes we're in a hurry or we just want to get to the part where we sit down and eat. 

A few minutes of your time can turn into a complete cooking education for your kids.  It can be a fun, bonding moment for you and believe it or not it can actually make the meal preparation time go faster. 

An added benefit is that as your kids get older they'll be able to make the whole meal without your help, so you can let them cook at least one night a week!

(the photo here is my oldest son Dylan shopping for his favorite veggies at The Fresh Market)

Ethan choosing spices to season the meal.
Ethan choosing spices to season the meal. | Source

Simple Tasks for Kids in the Kitchen!!

even the little things matter...

When first starting to get your kids involved in making meals and preparing food it's probably best to start small. They need to learn starting at the beginning. Don't expect them to be able to cook a 7 course meal from scratch on the very first day.

Gather the ingredients. You can't make much of anything without your list of ingredients, read

Stirring and mixing are usually among the first things kids learn to do in the kitchen. Get out the big wooden spoons and mixing bowls and let them mix the potato salad, macaroni and cheese, cake batter, whatever it is that needs stirring tonight.

Measuring generally comes next. Plastic measuring cups with big easy to read numbers are helpful here. Remember to show them how to get an accurate measurement by placing the cup on the aloud what you need and let your child find it and line it up on the counter to get started.

(the photo here at the right is my youngest son Ethan picking spices one night, adding the seasoning is his favorite step)counter and looking at eye level. What's funny here is that kids actually measure more accurately than adults pretty often when measuring in this way!

Cut it up! If you're child is much younger and not ready to handle a knife yet they can still get involved with the cutting up of ingredients. Get out the rolling pizza cutter and a cutting board and let them make rolling cuts. They'll feel a great sense of accomplishment and pride for helping in this way.

Cool Tools Made for Kids in the Kitchen

Curious Chef 3-Piece Nylon Knife Set
Curious Chef 3-Piece Nylon Knife Set

Having a properly sized knife with safety features for younger kids make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Learning knife skills early on is an important part of kids kitchen safety. You'll find that they learn fast and they really enjoy being able to prep their own snacks once they've learned to use the knives.

 

Snack Time!

the best time to get the kids involved

Getting the kids involved at snack time will keep them away from the junk food and making healthy choices while having a little bit of fun too.

Cooking and food preparation doesn't have to involved the stove all the time after all. Let them make a vegetable tray with dip, a simple fruit salad, ants on a log, lunch meat snack wrap ups and all sorts of other great snacks that can be easily prepared.

When young kids are encouraged to take part in preparing a meal for the entire family it gives them a sense of belonging. Completing small tasks helps them feel accomplishment at something important. That sense of belonging and accomplishment in helping can do wonders for a child's self esteem at any age.

Cooking Has No Boundaries

Kids Don't Think That Way Unless Someone Tells Them To

By not identifying cooking to one person’s role in the family, it allows a child to develop in a manner that does not identify certain tasks to certain genders. Wanting a child to see the two sexes as equal is supported by living examples the simple task of daily cooking. A child will quickly start to understand that the household chores are to be shared with everyone in the household, which can further develop into the understanding that there is no limit to what he or she can do in life with no dependence on his or her sex. And that's a great thing.

It Even Helps with School and Learning Things Quickly

A child learning to assist with cooking the family meal can also be a learning experience in math and reading, which are the two most critical educational contents in today’s world. Showing a child how much a cup of flour is, how to double the recipe, or even how to adjust cooking times for certain meals teaches a child the basics in math.

Having the child read a recipe along with following the steps of the recipe teaches reading, comprehension, and sequential importance. These are all important aspects needed to allow a child to read at or above his or her grade level.

Great Kids Cookbooks

Cooking Rocks!: Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals for Kids
Cooking Rocks!: Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals for Kids

This is my youngest son's favorite cookbook! I think he's made almost every recipe in it now. (and in turn we've eaten them)

 

Reader Feedback

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    • piedromolinero profile image

      piedromolinero 5 years ago

      Our little one enjoys cooking, she has so much fun and prepares small and easy things herself already.

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 6 years ago

      So many fun ideas for cooking with the kids. Great job.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      I think it's important to involve children in cooking. They appreciate their food more.

    • LoKackl profile image

      LoKackl 6 years ago

      I love your attitude about kids and cooking! This is an important part of parenting well. Blessed! and join your fan club!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 7 years ago from United States

      Great ideas! My children are grown, but I really enjoyed the years of baking cookies and making messes together.

    • athomemomblog profile image

      Genesis Davies 8 years ago from Guatemala

      Fun lens, I really like those star shaped popsicles! I`m adding your lens to my Cooking with Toddlers lens: http://www.squidoo.com/cookingwithtoddlers

    • beeobrien lm profile image

      beeobrien lm 9 years ago

      Hi Loretta, very nice lens. I'm also very much into cooking with kids.

    • Lisa-Marie-Mary profile image

      Lisa-Marie-Mary 9 years ago

      Great lens with some cool ideas for the kids! Those Easter nests look positively yummmmy! :D

    • Lisa-Marie-Mary profile image

      Lisa-Marie-Mary 9 years ago

      Thanks for all the fun kids cooking tips! Great lens! :D

    • Lisa-Marie-Mary profile image

      Lisa-Marie-Mary 9 years ago

      Fun lens! I love it! :D