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