Kids in the Kitchen

Kids preparing food on counter


Getting kids involved in the kitchen and familiar with preparing food is important. It sets an example for a healthy lifestyle and creates an interest in food and cooking. Help your kids develop a love of healthy foods by teaching them to make meals as a family.

Benefits of Cooking Together

  • Picky Eaters: Children who are involved in creating their meals are more likely to eat the food on their plate.
  • Help Kids’ Physical Development: Simple kitchen tasks like stirring, washing, peeling, whisking, and squeezing can help children develop fine motor skills.
  • Build Healthy Habits: Home-cooked meals promote an overall healthier diet.
  • Promote Bonding: Cooking as a family allows connections to be built through quality time.

Getting Started in the Kitchen

  • Start simple: Begin with easy recipes with just a few steps.
  • Assign roles in the kitchen: Adjust the tasks you assign to each family member based on your child’s skills and age.
  • Supervise: Make sure kids know the rules of kitchen safety and provide help when needed.

Tips for Teaching Kitchen Skills

  • Help kids stir by holding the bowl and placing one hand over their hand as they hold the spoon.
  • When kids chop foods for the first few times, help by guiding their hand with yours. Start by cutting soft foods with a plastic knife or dull table/butter knife.
  • Let kids pour out pre-measured ingredients to start. Then try helping them measure small amounts of dry ingredients before moving to wet ingredients.
  • Place your hands over older kids’ hands while using a grater, watching their fingers carefully so they do not get cut or scraped.

Check out this article for specific kitchen tasks based on your child’s age!

Written by: Lauren Hinze, EFNEP Student Intern

© 2024 North Carolina Cooperative Extension
Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

North Carolina State University
Agricultural and Human Sciences Department

Cooperative Extension at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES)

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