Kids in the Kitchen – Joy or Disaster?

Ok, I will admit that cooking with my kids can be a lot harder at times (most of the time) than cooking by myself. I like to cook.  I find cooking therapeutic. Cooking with kids is not always therapeutic. Really! Sometimes the thought of managing my kids and their inevitable mess is almost enough for me to ban them from the kitchen. But, I remind myself of all the reasons these little chefs should be allowed to help. What are some of the reasons we should encourage our kids to discover the world of cooking?

  • Kids are more likely to eat what they make. This is true. It doesn’t mean that they will devour the spinach or asparagus that they have helped to make. However, they are much more likely to at least try it. And who knows, maybe they will devour the spinach.
  • Learning to cook helps kids learn about nutrition. As I’m preparing food with my kids, we talk about the foods we are cooking and how they will benefit our bodies.
  • Kids need to be able to contribute to the family and feel like they play an important part. Cooking and creating in the kitchen can give them that sense of contributing to the family.
  • Bonding.  Very important.Cooking together is a wonderful bonding experience.  Especially with my two youngest boys who we adopted at the age of 4 and 5, this has proved to be a great way to bond. Just remember, it’s going to take longer to prepare something and don’t worry about every little spill.
  • Boosting self-esteem. Talk about a great way to boost a child’s self-esteem and confidence. Let them get creative in the kitchen and then praise them for it
  • Remember, cooking with kids doesn’t mean you have to cook a four course meal or a fancy dessert with them. Keep it simple. The more they can do by themselves the better.

What tips and idea do you have for cooking with your kids? We’d love to hear your experiences.

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Lisa Holcomb

Lisa is co-founder of Build A Menu, an online menu planning website that helps families get their grocery bill under control and helps them to bring “dinner back to the table”. She is an advocate for family meal time, an author, and a public speaker.

Note: This Perspectives Blog post is written by a guest blogger of DrGreene.com. The opinions expressed on this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Dr. Greene or DrGreene.com, and as such we are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied. View the license for this post.

  1. Michelle Billett

    Love it! Another reason to share your love of cooking with them is that it might spark a passion for them. If I’d never let my oldest in the kitchen, she wouldn’t have discovered her love of cooking!

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    • Great point Michelle. I baked cookies with my mother every Saturday for many years. I have wonderful memories of those times … and a passion for cookies.

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    • You’re absolutely right Michelle! I love seeing that spark in kids. I’m so glad your daughter has found the love of cooking.

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