There are so many benefits to getting your kids in the kitchen cooking. Whether it is a great way to practice math skills, gain self-esteem, or just to have fun, getting together as a family to cook a meal is one of the best ways to make lasting memories. After all, kids learn by doing, tasting, and smelling so they really belong in the kitchen. Do NOT worry about the mess – they can clean up too – another great life skill, right?!?!
All the benefits for both kids and adults are listed below. In addition, I shared some cooking ideas and some great kid-friendly recipes. These are some of my kids' favorites. They are all easy ones to teach a kid with and ones they will sure to love eating as well. So get out some tiny aprons, wash some little hands, push a stool up to the counter, and have some great big fun time getting messy.
Benefits for the Kids
- Proud of their accomplishments - great for self-esteem
- Gets them interested in trying new foods - when you help make it, you want to eat it
- Learn more about nutrition and portion sizes - helps foster a lifelong practice of eating healthier
- Hygiene and safe food handling - washing hands and keeping raw food from other ingredients is key
- Math skills - measuring ingredients and doubling recipes require math
- Reading skills - reading and understanding step-by-step instructions
- Teamwork skills - mixing while someone pours for example
- Timing skills - prep order to time things in the oven or when you want many things done at the same time
- Quality time together & FUN!
Miley with pineapple upside-down cupcakes
Benefits for the Adults
- Proud of what you teach/empower your children with - teaching a child is more ideal than simply just doing for a child
- Helping hands - the more involved can help divide and conquer meal prep (ok ok, when kids are really young it may be more work than help but it will pay off someday!)
- Share memories and heritage - teaching your kids about family recipes is a great legacy
- Quality time together & FUN!
What you should cook with your kids
Start off with some recipes that require no cooking with the youngest kids. Cooking with toddlers could involve assembling sandwiches, salads, or chips & dips!
As kids get older they can graduate with more cooking skills like cutting with safety knives. You may still want to keep your kid cooking without fire or heat on a stove. The oven is usually a safer thing to start with. They can add items to the oven and still be safe making sure they don't touch the sides. Adults can help with removing hot items at first until they graduate to cooking with heat.
- Family favorites you know they already like
- Holiday cookies
- Let them look through cookbooks or magazines to pick a recipe
- Assemble salads and toss with dressings
- Pasta and a variety of sauces
Easy Recipes to Cook with your Kids
Homemade ranch dressing recipe and have them learn knife skills
Strawberries and whipped cream recipe – yeah for the beater and for cutting strawberries
Pizza making is one of the best and most fun to do together
Pickled veggies are fun and tasty plus great with Poke Bowls
CAUTION with these areas:
- Keep dangerous knives and utensils out of reach for younger kids. Know what skills your kids have or have not already mastered - great kid-safe knives are listed below from Amazon.
- Supervise any stove work or opening/closing the ovens
- Use safe stools when necessary for shorter kids (or moms too!)
- Raw meat is something that needs correct handling, so this may be a task for older kids and not 2-4yr olds (keep areas and hands clean!)
PIN FOR SAFEKEEPING & SHARING!
Product Recommendations for this Article:
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