Cooking With Kids

The first and most important place where children learn healthful attitudes about food is in the home. Children learn best by doing, not watching, so get them involved! As an added bonus your children will also be exposed to your family’s food traditions.
Here are some ideas for getting even young children into the kitchen preparing and sharing food. Don’t forget to start by washing your hands with soap and hot water!
Two to three Year Olds

  • wash vegetables, scrub potatoes
  • name and count foods
  • conversation about cooking
Three to Four Year Olds
  • shape meatballs
  • snap peas
  • tear lettuce
  • peel bananas
  • shuck corn
Four to Five Year Olds

  • break eggs into bowl
  • pour milk and juice (with help)
  • help measure ingredients
  • mix ingredients
  • open packages
  • pour cereal
  • make sandwiches
  • toss salads
  • stir ingredients
  • talk about basic kitchen safety rules
  • sort and classify foods
Five Years and Older

  • make cookies & cakes from mixes (with help)
  • make pancakes, French toast, scrambled eggs, hot cereal, pasta and rice (with help)
  • set and clear the table
  • name kitchen safety rules
Remember that some children may take longer to learn some of these new skills and longer still to master them. Don’t worry about the mess or making a perfect dish. What is most important are the shared time and positive experiences with your children.

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