Cooking With Kids

How often do you let your kids help out in the kitchen? When I think of “Cooking with Kids,” the first thing that comes to mind is, honestly, a mess. Specifically, flour everywhere. (Flour is the devil’s way of letting you know he’s around. Sure, it helps when you’re making bread, but geez… any other time and it solely exists to create a fine powder on your counters and floors.)

If you’ve read many of my other posts, you’ll see my toddler ensures I don’t get a lot of creative time in the kitchen. I usually try to slam something nutritious out to get him fed. But, last night, with the help of a late afternoon snack and a friend, I was able to make a meal, sans screaming.

My kids, like yours, I’m sure, love to “help.” I put that word in quotes because, as well all know too well, “helping” usually means a lot of clean up on our part. Last night, my big kids were jazzed about helping make spaghetti. My daughter poured the olive oil in the pan of water. My son watched and waited for the water to boil so he could put the noodles in. He even had fun breaking the noodles in half first. (Who am I kidding? 6-year-old boys love breaking stuff….) The baby helped set the table by bringing his fork over there.

As my daughter finished her homework, my kindergartener helped by making toast. We had a lovely discussion about why we don’t put knives in the toaster to get the bread out. Then, my friend showed him how to put the little plastic thing back on the bread bag.

Spaghetti is a pretty easy one. What do you let your kids help make? My daughter can make grilled cheese, supervised, of course. My kindergartener can scoop ice cream (giant portions…) And my toddler knows how to help himself to just about anything that’s not hermetically sealed in the pantry.

I’d love to hear your ideas on cooking with kids. My friend, Rebecca Palsha, has a blog about cooking and eating. Check it out sometimes. Her daughter, Alice, is often involved. Send us some ideas on what you cook and I’ll try to send them Rebecca’s way!

 

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Me a Mom at Home
    Dec 11, 2011 @ 04:16:09

    Last time my daughter help me making pizzas she impressed me ( 4 years old)and was able to roll a huge pizza almost by herself. I think before the kids help mom jsut has to picture to biggest mess ever so after it seems not too bad:-)

    Reply

  2. Heather Swanson
    Dec 14, 2011 @ 22:13:43

    I started my youngest out “helping” (mostly observing)me cook when he was about 2½ (he’s now 5). He asked to help – and always wants to taste each individual ingredient to see what it tasted like… pepper, flour, cinnamon, garlic, onion, etc… By the time he was three – he was creating his own recipes. His first recipe has become a favorite of family and friends… We were making pancakes, and he tasted the batter and decided it “needs cinnamon”… another taste and it needed nutmeg, another taste added peaches, and the final taste added bananas… Best pancakes ever! And, he came up with those additions by himself, with the only prompting being “How’s that taste?” He’s now graduated to pizza, spaghetti, jams / jellies, cookies, oatmeal, quiches, stuffed biscuits, etc… (He is closely supervised, and doesn’t do the stove or oven for the most part – we let him stir oatmeal etc, but not fry bacon that type of thing…) We have a friend that isn’t much of a cook, and will randomly call to see if he will come cook dinner for Auntie… since he has more skills than she does. lol

    It’s really about interest and time – start with the basics, let them know expectations, and while cooking is fun, it’s not for tossing flour… lol

    Reply

    • Mom Land
      Dec 14, 2011 @ 22:53:55

      Heather, Sounds like you have quite the little chef on your hands!

      Reply

      • Heather Swanson
        Dec 14, 2011 @ 23:45:00

        Definitely! I love the things he comes up with! Other than Ghost Adventures, his favorite shows are Iron Chef, Chopped, and Restaurant Impossible! It’s hysterical (and often yummy sounding) to hear what he comes up with for the secret ingredients… and if he doesn’t know what an ingredient is, he wants to look it up on Wikipedia / Food Network. I love it!

      • Mom Land
        Dec 14, 2011 @ 23:47:59

        Too cute!

        ________________________________

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