Getting your kids in the kitchen is a great way to spend time together. It can also be a time to teach them to enjoy cooking. Kids can learn the basics of building a balanced plate filled with fruits, veggies, grains, and protein. These skills will help them become life-long healthy eaters.
Kids are more likely to try foods that they help prepare. Your kids will feel less hesitant about trying a new fruit or vegetable if they helped you make it. You can also read our previous posts on why nutrition at home is so important.
If you’re feeling unsure about how to get your kids in the kitchen, this guide includes ideas for kids of all ages to get involved in the kitchen. Remember, all kids are different and may be able to help in a variety of ways.
- Infant-Toddler: If you’re struggling to keep your little ones occupied while you cook, try including them in the process! Even though they may not be able to help out, they can still be entertained by watching you. One idea is to set up their high-chair or car seat in the kitchen and chat with them about what you’re making. Another option is to have them play with some kitchen-safe toys or utensils while you cook. And if you need some extra help, consider signing up for a 123 Baby Box subscription, which provides monthly deliveries of baby essentials and fun activities to keep both baby and mom happy and entertained.
- 3-5 years old: Young children with less coordination may be able to help, but will need close supervision. Have them help rinse produce, mix ingredients with a spoon, and use cookie cutters.
- 6-8 years old: This age group will likely be able to help pull apart lettuce for salad, crack eggs, and mix wet and dry ingredients together. Apple Raisin Bran Muffins could be a great recipe to try with this age group.
- 8-10 years old: These kids may be able to help with things like peeling vegetables, using a can opener, and cutting fruits and vegetables with a small knife.
- 10-12 years old: Pre-teenage kids will be able to handle more complex tasks like preparing vegetables using a microwave or stove, using an oven to bake foods, and prepare foods from recipes with multiple steps.
For more ideas on how to get kids involved in the kitchen and recipes to try, check out the Kids Blog. The FNP team is here to help, so leave a comment below with what your kids are cooking.
By Lindsey McClain