Story by: Norton Children’s on August 29, 2019
Do you remember helping your parents bake cookies or make dinner as a child? Did you realize you were learning skills such as how to count, measure and read recipes? Cooking activities for kids can help them develop confidence and skills naturally in the kitchen. Cooking together also can help your family commit to healthy habits that can last a lifetime.
Here are seven skills that your children can develop while helping in the kitchen:
A few tasks in the kitchen are particularly well-suited to kids ages 3 to 5. The key is to give them “jobs” they enjoy that meet their skill level. Don’t plan an elaborate project — five to 10 minutes might be all your child wants to spend on an activity. Start small and keep it fun.
Here are some other ways kids can help:
By the time they’re in school, children have the coordination to complete many simple kitchen tasks, such as:
Older school-age kids are probably ready for a challenge. Let them take the lead on choosing and preparing a more involved, healthy dish, starting with making the grocery list.
Be the assistant in the kitchen when needed, and supervise if your child needs a lesson in using any unfamiliar cooking equipment. Closely monitor or take over any work that requires the stove, oven or knives. And don’t forget to shower the chef with compliments when you taste the finished product. After creating one dish solo, your child might want to take on an entire meal or some other challenge, such as doubling a recipe or cutting it in half.