Helpful Ideas for Cooking with Kids

2015 July 15
by Kerrie Flanagan


The kitchen is the heart of the home where your family gathers for mealtimes. Inviting your kids into this space to cook with you is a fun way to get them involved in meal prep, fill time on a rainy day and it provides your kids with lifelong skills. According to a study done by the Children’s Food Trust, kids who cook are 50% more likely to cook 5 meals a week as adults. Plus, they are more likely to try new foods if they helped cook them. 


Here are few tips to make your family time in the kitchen more enjoyable:

Plan Your Time
If you have a busy day and are trying to squeeze meal prep in between play group and book club, then this is not a good day to have kids in the kitchen for a memorable bonding experience. It might end up being memorable for all the wrong reasons. Instead find days when you have plenty of time and are not rushed. 

Kid Friendly Jobs

There are plenty of tasks children as young as toddlers can do, even with complicated recipes. Young helpers can help gather the ingredients and supplies, tiny hands are great for pouring ingredients you have measured out and little ones love stirring. Kids are naturals when it comes to decorating baked goods, putting the ingredients on a pizza or kneading dough. If your child wants to help with cutting, check out these kid friendly knives from Curious Chef.

Talk Through the Process
To help your tiny chefs learn the language of the kitchen and keep them engaged, read the recipe aloud and talk through the different steps as you do them. They will become familiar with the different terms associated with cooking like teaspoon, cups, sift, mix, knead, stir, marinate and bake. As they get older and learn to read, they will already have the background knowledge through their experiences to follow simple recipes on their own. 

Don’t Forget the Clean Up
Although fun, cooking with kids tends to be messy. By the time the meal is all prepared, chances are your kitchen will need some extra TLC. It can be very tempting to send your littles chefs away to go play while you clean up, but it is important for them to understand everything about making a meal. And that includes the clean-up. By doing it together you can make the clean-up fun and let them experience that feeling of a job well done. 

Sitting down together to enjoy the meal you all prepared can be a rewarding experience for everyone.  It doesn’t matter if it’s macaroni & cheese or lasagna Bolognese, it’s times like these where memories are made. Priceless.  


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