Cooking: Ways your kids can help in the kitchen safely
The kitchen is a dangerous area for little children, but how else will they learn to bake and make delicious food for themselves and their family? These are the ways that your child can assist you in the kitchen safely.
Want to involve your kids in cooking? We've put together a list of all the ways young kids can help out in the kitchen, with activities tailored to their age and ability. So whether they're 8 months or 8 years, you can train up a little sous chef to become a professional little iron chef!
Age Range 0 months to 18 months:
Perhaps when they are just infants, it is best to let them watch and learn! Bring them into the kitchen while you cook. Set them up someplace safe and give them a few adult-sized cooking tools to bang around. Wooden spoons, whisks, spatulas, non-breakable mixing bowls, and measuring cups and spoons are all good choices. Talk to them about what you’re doing. If you’re cooking food for their meals, let them smell and touch the ingredients. This is all about making cooking a fun, interesting thing they can watch and experience. Hey, all apprentice chefs must start by observing!
Age range 1.5 years to 3 years:
At toddler age, they can finally start doing some small tasks that involve little to no technique! Here are some of the things you can have them do: pour dry and liquid ingredients into a bowl, rinse fruits and vegetables, scrub potatoes, pick herbs off the stem, tear greens into pieces, brush oil or butter with a pastry brush, stir the batter in a bowl, mash vegetables, and sprinkle salt or herbs!
Age Range 3 to 6 years:
Congrats! Your child is now at pre-school age. They have just finished developing some basic motor skills and can thus be able to complete tasks that involve basic techniques: cutting soft food with a plastic knife, crack and beat an egg, roll out the dough, juice a lemon, measure ingredients, spread butter or jam, set a timer, whisk ingredients together, peel a boiled egg, set the table, and clean small dishes!
Age Range 6-10 years:
Cheers to elementary school age! At this point, they can begin using advanced techniques in the kitchen. Moreover, instead of having them complete simple tasks, you can begin to teach them a few recipes that they can try out with you! At this age, they can begin to: use a paring knife, cook (with adult supervision) at the stove, use a can opener, grate cheese, peel fruits and vegetables, form patties, whisk cream with electric or hand whisk, grease a pan, pour batter or dough, slice bread, thread food on skewers, and unload the dishwasher!
Cooking may be a daunting task to your young children, but if you follow our guidelines, it shouldn't be a pain at all! If you are looking for any other lesson or opportunity to help your child cook, check out our in-person/virtual afterschool program, as we have a cooking activities on every Friday!