Cooking With Children |

Cooking With Children

Cooking with your children can be fun and healthy. Children enjoy helping in the kitchen and often are more willing to eat foods they help prepare. They can be involved in all aspects of cooking, from gathering or purchasing ingredients to 'reading' the recipe, measuring, stirring and serving the completed food. All these activities can expose the children to healthy foods along with promoting independence and self confidence. Children may choose nutritionally sound foods if they understand how food impacts their growth and development.

It is important to allot age–appropriate kitchen tasks to your children. Children have their own pace for learning new skills. Expect a few spills, and be patient and allow extra time for each task. When children help with food preparation, remind them to wash hands using soap and water before and after handling food or utensils to prepare food.

Activities for 2–year–olds

  • Scrubbing vegetables and fruits
  • Wiping tabletops
  • Carrying unbreakable items to the table
  • Washing and tearing lettuce and salad greens
  • Breaking bread into pieces

Activities for 3–year–olds

  • Pouring liquids into batter (you measure first)
  • Mixing batter or other dry and wet ingredients together
  • Shaking a drink in a closed container
  • Kneading dough
  • Washing vegetables and fruit
  • Serving foods
  • Putting things in the trash after cooking or after a meal

Activities for 4– to 6–year–olds

  • Juicing oranges, lemons and limes
  • Peeling some fruits and vegetables (bananas and even onions) that do not require a knife
  • Mashing soft fruits and vegetables
  • Scrubbing vegetables (potatoes, mushrooms)
  • Measuring dry ingredients
  • Cracking open eggs
  • Beating eggs
  • Setting the table
  • Wiping up after cooking
  • Clearing the table after a meal