Busy moms don’t have to do it all
Children can be involved in kitchen tasks and make it a beneficial experience. We all should know how to cook and starting the youngsters at an early age is a great way to learn. Children who help in the kitchen are more likely to try something that they helped make. So why not start young and incorporate fruits and vegetables in the menu. This way the choices that are being made are much healthier. Younger kids aren’t capable of helping to prepare meals but why give them some empty pots and some utensils to play with so they can pretend that they are helping you.
Older kids might be intrigued on how to bake and prepare meals. It isn’t always convenient to invite them into the kitchen to help, but consider doing so when time allows. Even teens might venture into the kitchen if you tell them they can choose the dish and you’ll help prepare it with them.
Parents do get something out of this time together. First, there’s the quality time you’ll share. Then there’s the pleasure of sitting down at the table together to enjoy what you created.
Preschoolers and younger:
- Scrub, dip, tear, break, and snap (for example, snapping the ends off green beans)
- Shake, spread, and cut with a cookie or biscuit cutter
- Peel (some items), roll, juice, and mash
- Remove husks from corn
- Wash vegetables in a colander
- Measure and pour some ingredients
- Hand mix
Grade school and older
Everything listed above, plus some more advanced duties, such as:
- Cracking and separating eggs
- Reading some recipes by themselves
- Inventing their own easy-to-fix recipes
- Using the electric mixer (with adult supervision if needed)
- Stirring food over the stove (with adult supervision if needed)
- Working with and reading a candy thermometer (with adult supervision if needed)
- Operating a can opener or food processor with safety features
- Grating cheese
- Cutting vegetables, fruits, etc. (using a plastic knife or dinner knife)
Teens might appreciate the chance to improve their cooking skills. It will be a good experience when they go off on their own when they get older. Experiment with different cuisines. Do they love a certain cuisine? Visit a market that carries those products. Enjoy that quality time together. It doesn’t last forever…..