It's the perfect fun learning experience.
The kitchen is a great place to begin building fine motor skills at any age. It is also perfect for making fun, core memories with your kids. Have you been wondering how to get them involved in the kitchen? Are you worried about their age and what they can or can not do? We have rounded up some great information on how to get your kids involved in the kitchen at any age and are excited for you to get started!
What Do Kids Learn in the Kitchen?
There are so many positive things that kids can learn in the kitchen! These include:
- Builds basic math skills when measuring ingredients.
- Develops fine motor skills when they knead the dough, pour liquid ingredients, and stir in dry ingredients.
- Improves their vocabulary by reading cookbooks and recipes.
- Uses all of their senses as they discover new smells, tastes, textures, sights, and sounds.
- Boosts confidence and creativity in the kitchen that can help them build healthy eating habits
- Learn life skills they can continue to build on during each new phase.
At What Age Can Children Start Helping in the Kitchen?
The good news is that no matter what age your child(ren) might be, there are age-appropriate tasks that can benefit them right where they are at! You can start your child’s kitchen involvement as early as 6 to 8 months by setting them up in their high chair and giving them different soft foods to play with and letting them see you work on your own meal prep.
Once they become preschoolers (ages 2 to 4), you can begin to give them simple tasks such as pouring ingredients, tearing up lettuce or spinach, and kneading the dough for bread.
School-age kids (ages 5 to 8) can begin to work with a kids’ safe knife and other utensils to slice and dice fruits and vegetables, as well as work on some peeling prep. This is a fun stage to begin to help them build some nutritional knowledge of what is in their meals and how it helps to fuel their bodies.
Supervision is necessary at all stages, no matter what age group your kiddo might fall into. Take some queues from your little chef. Stop and observe when they seem to master one skill and are ready to move on to the next.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, try out these 12 Healthy, Fun Snacks to Make With Your Kids!
Why Kids Should Help in the Kitchen?
Having kids help in the kitchen is an opportunity for fun and creativity to flourish! It has also been proven to reinforce that kids who learn how to cook their own meals tend to have healthier eating habits as they go on throughout their lives.
As you work with your kid in the kitchen, be sure to include the not-so-fun tasks into the routine. Tasks like washing dishes and picking up as you go along. Starting these positive habits at a young age saves them a lot of time and energy later in their lives. Their future roommate or partner will thank you later!
Getting Your Kids Involved in the Kitchen
Now that we know all of the positives of getting your kids involved in the kitchen, we will work on how to get them there!
There will be days when you’re tired, and the thought of trying to involve your kid with you in the kitchen can seem a bit overwhelming! However, feeling like they belong in the kitchen is essential! If you have a toddler, offer them a wooden spoon and a bowl and let them serenade you as you work. If you have a school-age child, give them a task that will keep them busy and help them feel involved but also allows you to get your own tasks completed. Something as simple as rinsing fruits and vegetables or getting out the needed pots and pans is a great way to get them involved.
Keep it simple; it doesn’t always have to be picture-perfect aprons and baking extravagant dishes! Try out our recipes for oil-free chocolate muffins and flourless blueberry oatmeal muffins! Both are fun, simple ideas to get their creative minds and hands active!
Take your kids to the farmer’s market or grocery store to pick up ingredients for the week’s meal prep. Seeing the process from start to finish is a great way to learn! For added math skills, you can show them how to budget for their favorite recipes!
You can also check out a few of our other great family-friendly recipes, including: