Kids in the Kitchen

As a mom who loves to be in the kitchen cooking and baking, it is important to me that my kids are involved. I have found 5 easy ways to encourage your kids to help out in the kitchen and be inspired by food at the same time. Here’s how to get cooking with kids:

1. Let Them Help With Planning Meals

When you are deciding which meals you are going to make for dinner, let your kids give you their input. One would think that when given the opportunity, kids would ask for meals like hot dogs, macaroni or fast food. But when I asked my sons recently what they would like to have for dinner, I was very surprised by their response. One requested risotto with peas and the other requested meatloaf. You too may be surprised but what your kids would like to eat.

2. Take Them Shopping

I know, I know. For most parents this is a scary proposition. It can be a difficult task to take kids with you on a grocery shopping trip, but here is one way to make it a little easier. If you have let them select the meal ideas, give them an ingredient list for the meal they have chosen and let them be responsible for finding those items.

3. Encourage Their Participation

When it is time to cook the meals, have your kids get the ingredients out for the meal they planned and assemble what they can. Kids are great at mixing, breading and grating. Give them a job that they can easily manage while you do the more complicated tasks.

4. Praise Their Efforts

Even if it has been a little bit chaotic in the kitchen, be sure to tell them how wonderful they did and how much you appreciated their help. Kids like to feel that they have done an important job that has helped you out.

5. Let Them Help Clean up

It is also important to encourage kids to help out with clean up after a meal. Let them know that by helping with clean up, the job gets done faster and it creates more time in the evening for other fun activities like a walk, reading or a board game.