Getting the Kids in the Kitchen
4 Fun Ways to Have the Kids Help-and Stay Busy!
Let’s face it, having help in the kitchen is always welcome. Having kids participate in the kitchen is a great way to get a bit of extra help, but also teach them life skills and responsibility. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Here are some easy ways to get your sous-chefs started.
1. Baking or Cooking with the Kids
Remember Patty Cake? Well, it’s even more fun when they’re actually baking. Staring kids off from a young age with an empty plastic bowl and wooden spoon makes it easy to mimic Mom as they grow. Once they’re old enough you can have tons of fun together baking delicious treats and even helping with lunch or dinner.
Easy ways to start teaching them to bake or cook with your starts with letting them pour in pre-measured ingredients, or mix dry ingredients. Once you feel they have mastered those tasks, you can then take it to the next level of letting them try to measure ingredients on their own. (and now they’re learning math!)
Read out ingredients that you’ll need for your recipes and see if they can recall these the next time around. And don’t forget the best part-tasting along the way!
2. Setting the Table
Kids love to feel like they are older and capable of doing everything mom, dad or even older siblings can do. Having them help you set the table is a fantastic way for kids to help in the kitchen.
See if they can remember everything needed to get the table ready for meal time included condiments like ketchup or maple syrup depending on what’s on the menu!
If they’re old enough, don’t stop at just setting the table. Start letting the kids learn how to clear the table as well. Not only is a great habit to start learning but it also ensures that they understand that importance of clean up after every meal.
If you’ve got more than one little helper and can’t stop the arguing, try alternating between one for setting the table and one for clearing it. You can also make one the helper for the day so that everyone gets a fair turn.
While clearing the table is a great way to help around the kitchen day in and day out, another great way to have them help is with kitchen chores. These can range based on how old your little one is You can also allow your children to wipe the table, or help sweep up, and even put away any items that were used during dinner back in the fridge or pantry. Just like setting the table, cleaning develops life skills and grows their sense of autonomy.
4. Meal Planning
This is especially helpful when trying to figure out what to feed your picky eaters or older kids. Having the kids provide input on what they would like to eat is a great way to get them more excited about mealtime.
This can start simply in terms of asking them what they would like for dinner, and then over time, it can grow to helping make a grocery list.
Make an activity of taking the weekly flyer and clipping out their favourite items to help make their version of a grocery list or hand over your smart phone and have them go through the specials!
Although taking them to the grocery store can seem like a long endeavour, having them help you select the food at the store takes completes the circle where they can see their meals coming together. Do what works for your family and take baby steps to get there.