Are you wondering how you can get your toddler or child to eat healthy? Can we let you in on a little secret? Kids are far more likely to try different foods if they’ve been involved in preparing it.
So, if you want to raise children who enjoy cooking and eating, get them to help out in the kitchen from a young age. At first you may need to step in to make sure the task is done properly – so expect to have to (re)mash the potatoes, (re)grease a pan or (re)rinse the veggies – but keep at it and you’ll soon have a very capable sous chef!
Here’s a list of age-appropriate kitchen tasks for kids of every age!
How kids can help in the kitchen: Ages 2 – 3
Toddlers love to be helpful and enjoy being given a ‘job’, although their execution might not be particularly good.
At this age, you are mostly just helping your little one get comfortable in the kitchen so let them do small tasks when it’s safe to do so. They could:
- Pour pre-measured ingredients into bowls
- Mix ingredients together in a bowl
- Tear lettuce for salads
- Choose the correct utensils from the drawer
- Help knead dough
- Squeeze lemons
- Pull herbs off stems
How kids can help in the kitchen: Ages 3 – 5
Children in this age group tend to want to do everything themselves.
While you’ll likely appreciate their willingness to help in the kitchen, they need strict supervision to make sure they don’t hurt themselves. They could:
- Grease pans
- Whisk eggs
- Mix ingredients in a bowl
- Rinse vegetables
- Help to set the table
- Butter bread
- Use the toaster
- Mash potatoes and other veg
- Cut soft ingredients with a butter knife
- Skewer food onto wooden sticks
- Put pots and pans away once they’ve been washed
How kids can help in the kitchen: Ages 6 – 8
By this age, you hopefully have quite a capable kitchen helper who can be trusted with a knife and can help with the actual cooking but, of course, you’ll still need to supervise. They could:
- Peel and cut fruit and vegetables
- Use a tin opener
- Break eggs
- Measure out ingredients
- Set and clear the table
- Grate cheese
- Make sandwiches
- Pour juice for themselves and others
- Put leftovers away
- Pack and unload the dishwasher
Getting kids to help with food prep and kitchen tasks will make them feel important and may encourage a life-long love of cooking.
Yes, the kitchen might end up looking like a disaster zone, but that’s half the fun, isn’t it?