The Importance of Having Your Kids Help in the Kitchen

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Many of my favorite memories as a child involve being in the kitchen. I loved watching my dad prepare our Sunday dinners or chatting with my mom as she made her weekly meatloaf. 

Now that we are all home more than EVER before, it’s a wonderful opportunity to get children involved in different aspects of kitchen life. If you are you anything like our family, we now need to prepare THREE meals a day, SEVEN days a week. 

Plus, involving them in the meal planning and preparation is a great way to introduce them to new foods. Children may be more inclined to try something they helped prepare than if it is just presented on a plate. Teaching children to cook does not require any special equipment. In most cases, a step stool, a few kid-friendly utensils, and an apron are all you will need. Of course, when children are first starting out, there may be a mess or two to clean up, but children can also learn from this. 

Important kitchen skills:

  • Hand washing
  • Introduction to the “Rules of the Kitchen” and the basics of food and cooking
  • Developing skills such as measuring, leveling, stirring, mixing, folding, and beating
  • Ability to wash fruits and vegetables
  • Use of a timer
  • Basic nutrition and information about where foods come from and why they are important in our diet (also, foods from different cultures and their history)
  • Knife skills (you can use a dull knife for younger children or kitchen shears
  • Introduction to cookbooks, cooking magazines, and web-based recipe collections (children can search for recipes that look and sound interesting)
  • Ability to prepare simple kid-safe recipes with few ingredients with little adult supervision (children learn problem-solving skills and enjoy the sense of accomplishment)

Plus, getting your kids in the kitchen totally counts as their math, science, and STEAM lesson for the day. 

Watch our video on baking banana bread that shows you how to turn a baking experience into an educational one. 

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Nikki has called wonderful Fairfield County her home, her entire life. Growing up on a campus of a private school in Greenwich, CT Nikki swore to her educator parents that she would never be a teacher. Well life has a way of repeating itself and now Nikki and her amazingly supportive husband are happily working at a different independent school in Greenwich. A recovering “type a” perfectionist she is learning to let go of her color coding, alphabetizing ways and embrace the mess. Helping her enjoy life’s everyday messes are her two precocious girls Sofie (11/15/11) and Keira (9/7/13). Nikki loves all things mommy cliché including but not limited to walks on the beach, running, reality TV, organizing closets, wine, chocolate and having her kids help her out in the kitchen.

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