Two of my children took a kids cooking class last year. During their class they learned simple kitchen skills based on their age while helping make several dinner and dessert dishes. I chose to stick around and watch the class which helped me get pointers as to how I can use their help in the kitchen. I’ve heard a lot of my mom friends talk about how stressful it is to have their kids help in the kitchen, so I thought I’d share some things my kids and I learned with all of you. My kids help cook several meals a week now AND they can almost completely cook a meal on their own!
First set the kitchen rules…
Only adults can use the oven.
Children 10+ can help with stove duties with adult supervision.
Knives are set next to the sink.
Wash your hands as soon as you enter the kitchen (and anytime you touch things like face/hair that you should not).
No touching your face, body, or hair while cooking.
Follow directions both from adults and on recipe.
Next find adequate work spaces for everyone. Each child should have a stool or chair at the counter or table to help prep and cook. If they are tall enough to stand you have have them stand by you.
Third read the entire recipe. This is a task for a child that reads (beginning readers might need a little help from parents).
Fourth everyone helps set out all ingredients needed.
Now your ready to start cooking!
How your kids can help…
Tasks by ages:
Toddlers– Washing fruits & veggies, adding pre-measured ingredients, topping dish with cheese or other dry toppings.
Preschoolers– Small chopping with kid scissors, helping measure ingredients, adding ingredients, mixing ingredients, and toddler tasks.
6-9 year olds– Reading recipe, chopping with pizza cutter, rolling out dough, running mixer and straining foods. Plus toddler and preschooler tasks.
10+year olds– Setting oven temperature, cooking on stove with supervision, chopping with knives. Plus all of the tasks listed above.
Key things to remember:
- You are NOT looking for perfection.
- You ARE teaching a life skill that everyone needs.
- Be patient, they will get it and it will get easier for all of you.
- Start with simple recipes and advance as you and your children get comfortable cooking together.
- It takes a practice so plan to need an extra 15-20 to cook a meal. After you’ve cooked a couple meals together you will all get the hang of it and the process will speed up. Before you know it they will be a huge benefit to having them help you cook meals!
- They need to help clean up so they
I made a video to show a snippet of how my kids help in the kitchen. WATCH IT HERE! (This is my very first Vlog so please excuse my inexperience and rambling!)