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Little Helping Hands – How Kids Can Help in the Kitchen

Why Cook with Kids?

Cooking together means more family time! Here are a few of the benefits of having kids help in the kitchen. 

  1. Cooking helps kids develop a taste for and try new foods. The earlier kids are exposed to fresh, healthy ingredients, the more likely it will become a favorite.
  2. Kids are more likely to eat what they make. When kids help make a meal, they are excited and proud of their creation. On top of that, they are usually more willing to try new foods. It also boosts their self-confidence!
  3. Cooking is a skill they can use for life. Who knows? Maybe the toddler that helps you wash the veggies will grow up to be a teenager that enjoys making tasty meals for the whole family.

How Kids Can Help

Here are a few ideas for tasks kids can do in the kitchen to get you started! We have divided them up by age group but you know your child best. You can decide which are appropriate.

2-5 years old

Toddlers are excited to get their hands on almost anything. Sound like a little someone you know? This group will love helping in the kitchen with close supervision. 

They can help with: 

  • Squeezing limes or lemons 
  • Washing and drying fruits and veggies
  • Picking leaves off of fresh herbs
  • Sprinkling herbs or spices
  • Kneading or rolling dough
  • Whisking, stirring, and mashing 
  • Measuring and pouring liquid and dry ingredients
  • Breaking eggs

6-9 years old

This group will enjoy mastering tasks from the previous age group and adding new skills. They will still need close supervision when using knives, graters or peelers. 

They can also help with: 

  • Cutting or peeling fruits and veggies
  • Grating cheese
  • Forming cookies and patties

10-12 years & up

Kids in this group can usually start to work more independently in the kitchen. Make sure by quizzing your child on different kitchen skills and safety topics. For example, you might ask them about handling hot food, safe knife skills, turning appliances on and off, and keeping pot and pan handles turned inward. It is a good idea for an adult to be close to lend a hand when needed. 

This group can start cooking simple dishes like eggs, rice, and pancakes. As their skills develop they can add more difficult dishes like soups, casseroles, and pasta. 

Recipes  

Try our super simple kid-friendly recipes and you’ll get your kids cooking in no time!

Turkey Tarragon Pitas 

This no-cook recipe is perfect for kids of all ages. These sandwiches are ready in about 15 minutes. Bonus! It only takes seven simple ingredients for a tasty lunch or dinner. You can easily swap ingredients for what you have at home. No turkey? No problem! Use another lunch meat. We like chicken!

Kids Can Step: Little ones can mix ingredients together. Older kids can make this one all on their own!

Crispy Chicken Fingers

Enjoy a healthier homemade version of this kid-friendly favorite. Our chicken fingers are baked so they are lower in fat and sodium than fried, but still crispy and delicious! Our guess is you’ll get a request for fries to go with their chicken fingers. Try our Parmesan Zucchini Fries for a creative way to add fries (shhhh…veggies!) to your meal. 

Kids Can Step: Mix ingredients and coat chicken that makes this meal crunch!

Mini Pizzas

This recipe is a fun one! Kids can get creative and will love choosing their own toppings! This easy recipe is perfect for an after-school snack or a quick-fix dinner. Have a little extra time? Ask your kids to make something creative with the ingredients on top of each muffin. We like making funny faces! 

Kids Can Step: Kids can choose toppings and build their pizzas to perfection. Older kids can practice their knife skills cutting up pizza toppings.

Homemade FroYo

Who could forget dessert? Kids can get creative and make their favorite flavors by choosing the ingredients and tossing them in the blender. Who knows? They might invent a new flavor! In fact, why not make it a contest? Make a few different flavors and then get a piece of paper and rank them to see which are family favorites!  

Kids Can Step: Kids can create their flavors and add ingredients to the blender.

Whatever you decide to do with your little kitchen helpers, we hope you have fun! Have new ideas? We hope you share them with us! Please show us your family creations by leaving a comment below or on our Facebook page.

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