Is your kid ready to learn some basic kitchen skills? Cooking with kids can be a little stressful because most often we see the mess we have to clean up. The key here is it will all clean up. Let your kids learn from their messy mistakes and learn how to clean up after their cooking adventures. Afterall, cleaning up after themselves is also a valuable life skill, right?
So here are the basics when cooking with kids:
Chose the right recipe. Select recipes that require skills your kids already have. For example, you might have your 2-year-old help bake cookies, or pretzels because rolling out the dough is easy and fun. But you wouldn’t have them help you make a 4-course dinner with a million steps.
Keep it simple. If your kids are just starting out in the kitchen start out with recipes that require fewer steps to complete. Your kid will stay motivated to learn more. Start with easy snacks to nail down the basics like cutting and planning, then work up to meals that requires bigger skills.
Use the right tools. If you are worried about your kids using knives or any of your kitchen tools, get them a kid version that they can use with easy. I always have plenty of towels and a broom and dustpan on hand to clean up any messes.
Chose the right time. Don’t try to teach your kid some cooking skills while they are hungry and impatient, or during the dinner time rush. You want to select a recipe that will fit into the time you have to get through the recipe without pressure to get it done quickly.
Here are some simple recipes you can help your child make:
Garlic bread pizza
Older kids (ages 6-10):
Egg salad wraps
Meatballs and sauce.
Tweens: (Age 10+)
Homemade mac and cheese
Scrambled egg burritos
What are you cooking with the kids this week? I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below!
Roxanne is a twin mom and freelance writer. She owns this little piece of the blogosphere where parents are encouraged to let go and embrace the messier parts of parenting, without judgement.
Lucas is now 12 and has loved cooking since he was a toddler. When he was younger he mainly helped me bake cookies. As a preschooler he enjoyed making english muffin pizza and hot dogs. In the last several years he has expanded to cooking complex meals like stir fry and baking bread. He is a master of using herbs – i usually think he is using too much or the combination may not work but every time it comes out awesome! Cooking is such an awesome activity because it combines almost every area of learning! Math, science, reading a recipe, life skills!!
Thanks for the tips! I want to cook with my 2 and 4 yr olds but they drive me insane constantly sticking their hands in, licking and repeating!
When my kids were those ages, I found making fun snacks instead of main meals helped take off the pressure to make it perfect. Making messes and licking fingers is all part of learning (and the fun!).
Love this! It’s so fun to including kids while cooking. My kids (ages 4 and 6) always enjoy making cookies or banana bread – mixing ingredients is always fun and simple. I like to include them when making dinner to chop up ingredients with kids’ knives too.
Yes! All great ways to include the little ones!
Cooking with kids is the best. I have an almost 3 year old and she loves being in her kitchen helped next to me and helping me pour things in. Teaches great skills too. Great tips!
Thanks! I agree, lots of teachable moments n the kitchen!
Love these recipes and tips for cooking with kids!
I m doing home school and l like to do many activity with my kids and to cook is one of my favorite. I saved your great list 😄