Six Tips for Cooking with Kids

Learn six tips for cooking with kids. Children of any age can work in the kitchen with an adult present as long as the recipes are modified accordingly. Use your judgment to decide when your child is ready to attempt a new challenge and be nearby for the results. Here are some tips to ensure that your child's time in the kitchen is both engaging and safe.

  • Never allow a child in the kitchen when using a deep fryer or oil in a fry pan. Popping oil can be very painful when it comes in contact with the skin, but it becomes even more dangerous to a child who is at or below eye level with this dangerous hot liquid. A few deep fryer models are now made with secure lids to make the process safer.

  • Look for no-bake recipes for the children who are just learning to cook and are not yet confident in the kitchen. There are plenty of recipes that do not call for knives, stovetops or ovens.

  • When a child begins to gain confidence in the kitchen, add only one new lesson or new piece of equipment at a time. Do not introduce the vegetable peeler the same day you pull out the blender.

  • Allow any child that has mastered reading, regardless of age, to take control of the recipe card. This will help the child quickly learn the abbreviations for kitchen terms and get a firm grip on measurements and fractions. Allow your child to retrieve the ingredients needed. You would be surprised how many parents take it for granted that their older children know the difference between powdered sugar and granulated.

  • When your child has mastered the recipe card and can make a recipe independently, practice doubling the recipe and halving it. It is not only great kitchen practice, it will make your child a math whiz at school.

  • The most important part of learning to cook in the kitchen is realizing that part of the responsibility is cleaning up when finished. Your child should not get into the habit of being the elite chef who has many extra hands cutting, chopping, stirring and cleaning up. Once the child has made an age-appropriate effort, you can finish the job to your standards.

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