Cooking is an excellent way to get your kids involved in the everyday tasks that make your household function, teach them a bit about the food they eat at every meal, and pass on a valuable life skill. Children can even learn about math and science by measuring out ingredients the way they do frequently with their teachers at daycare and preschool. Get them hooked on cooking at home!
From zero to 18 months, you can:
- Bring your child into the kitchen while you cook, setting him up in a high chair so that he can observe what you’re doing.
- Narrate each action, in order to pique his interest so that he’ll want to help out when he’s a bit older.
- Give him a few kitchen tools to play with, like a wooden spoon, whisk, or measuring cups and spoons.
From 18 months to 3 years, your child can:
- Wash fruits and vegetables.
- Tear leafy greens into small pieces.
- Pour pre-measured ingredients into bowls.
- Mash veggies.
- Sprinkle salt, pepper, herbs, and spices.
- Load unbreakable items into the dishwasher.
When they’re 4 and 5 years old, they can:
- Roll out dough for bread or pizza.
- Juice lemons, limes, and oranges.
- Crack eggs.
- Measure ingredients in a measuring cup
- Whisk ingredients.
- Set the table.
Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers are naturally interested in everything their parents do. Getting them to help out, even in the most simple of ways in the kitchen, gives them a sense of ownership over their meals, which may lead to better eating habits and will help them to learn about the value of participating in activities which help out the whole family.