While cooking with kids isn’t known for particularly being fun because of the extra time and mess, it is an activity that is very rewarding for both parent and child. Kids love helping with adult tasks, and starting them in the kitchen young will set them up for success in the kitchen later on in life. It will also encourage them to try new foods and ingredients if they played in role in choosing and preparing that dish.

Having kids in the kitchen requires prior planning and not every dish is suitable for kids to help with. Here are a few ideas on how to make cooking with your kids the most productive and fun experience it can be.

Introduce Cooking-Related Toys

If your kiddo is a toddler or young child, they will probably need some help to get their hands on safe kitchen tools like non-breakable bowls and plastic spoons. Having them play with these toys while you cook can give them positive experiences in the kitchen that will encourage them to want to help more often. But you can still go further than this, as kids can help with many parts of cooking, depending on their age. I purchased these velcro fruits and vegetables to help my son practice cutting in a realistic way. Play kitchens have amazing appliances and tools that your child can use to entertain themselves, mimic you in the kitchen, and learn important skills. But whether it’s a game, cooking toys, cooking shows, or child-friendly cookbooks, your child will be very excited to participate in cooking with you.

Set Aside Plenty of Time

When you are in a rush to make dinner on a weeknight, that is not the best time to invite your kids into the kitchen with you. Unless they are already skilled and can take direction well, it will create more mess and be more time-consuming than if you did it yourself. If you want your kids to spend more time with you in the kitchen, set aside time on a weekend when you have no time restrictions. Allow them to make a mess with a recipe that has few ingredients and is forgiving, like this easy air fryer salmon recipe.

If the dish you are making is complicated, but they insist on helping, you can give them the task of chopping up some fruit that they can eat as a pre-dinner snack. Make sure you use kid-friendly knife sets so you don’t need to worry about injuries.

Let Them Assist with Easy Tasks

You obviously want to raise your kids to learn love, and having them have fun when spending time with you will forever be the best way to go. This even goes for cracking eggs. You have to admit; there’s something satisfying about doing it. While tapping an egg against a flat surface can seem like a recipe for disaster, this method is actually pretty neat and easy for kids to master. If you are baking, they can name the ingredients in one bowl and wet ones in another while you mix them together. This can teach math (as well as a little science) while making a delicious baked good.


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