Cooking with Kids

September 1, 2018

I love having kiddos in the kitchen. Letting them taking some ownership, learn new skills, taste the food along the way. Not to mention it gives them a chance to channel their energy and spend quality time with family.

Yeah that sounds like a cool idea but kids are crazy and messy and I’m exhausted…. I get it! You’ve worked a full day and now you’re home with your little who wants to explore and be at your hip and you’re just worried about getting food on the table before bedtime routine. I don’t have my son in the kitchen with me for every meal we are home. But I try to have at least two to three meals per week (and yes Saturday lunch counts!) where we can bond and practice skills.

Let them help

Kids at any age can get involved in the kitchen, here are some ideas to try with your family:

  • Little babies may like being swaddled in a wrap while you do some low-stress cooking (see above, making a lemon cake with my then ~2 month old, I always talk through the recipe and the science with him… yep true nutrition nerd)
  • Older babies may like to play with silicone spatulas or plastic cookie cutters or bowls
  • Toddlers may like to stir or add a pinch of a recipe ingredient, or help roll out cookie dough or put toppings on pizza, bring their dishes to the dishwasher or throw out trash
  • Older toddlers may also like to cut soft fruits or vegetables using kid-friendly knives or pour liquids
  • School age kids may want to start making recipes with decreased adult help like macaroni and cheese from a package or a grilled cheese sandwich or maybe a banana-PB wrap.

Momma, embrace the mess and don’t worry if they don’t do it the way the recipe says to or the way you usually do it. Let them own it and be proud of their creativity. The more fun and approachable foods and the kitchen are, the more adventurous an eater you will have ***and the more fun YOU will have too, mess and all! 

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