They say the heart of the home is the kitchen – but often you have tiny hands pulling at you for your attention. You wonder to yourself “How am I ever going to get food made and on the table?” The easiest answer is to get those tiny hands into action. Here are some great ways that you can involve kids in cooking so you can not only make a meal, but also make the process fun for you and your kids!
- Add some food coloring to vanilla Greek yogurt and you get edible finger paint! Let little ones create an edible masterpiece on their highchair tray!
- Give them child-proof utensils that are fun to chew on and play with!
- Give them small tastes of what you are cooking! Noodles and veggies make for a fun tasting!
- Once crawling, give them a cabinet that is “theirs”! Stock it with plastic containers, some pots/pans and a few wooden spoons and then let them play away: pretend to cook, drum and build!
- Let them gather the items needed to make dinner.
- Help prep! Wash veggies, spin the salad spinner, stir a pot, pour liquids and even break apart lettuce for a salad.
- Gather plates, cups and utensils for setting the table.
- Help measure out ingredients.
- Wash, peel or even cut vegetables. Teach them how to properly use a knife or cutting utensil—it’s a great skill to learn and what better place than with you in your kitchen!
- Scooping batter or buttering bread.
- Filling a pot with water for mom or dad to put on the stove.
- Take condiments out and put them on the table.
- Unload the dishwasher or wash some dishes as you’re cooking.
Take the time that you are already spending in the kitchen and teach your children how fun a kitchen can truly be!
By: Emily Novak, RD, LDN