One awesome way to get your family on board with a real food diet is by involving them in the whole food preparation and cooking process. This is especially true for kiddos. If you children help you with the shopping, chopping, and cooking of dinner, then they are much more likely to try Brussels sprouts, sauerkraut, and pate. But involving your kids in the kids in the kitchen can go beyond just stirring. They are able to handle other responsibilities that also teach them how to prepare a meal themselves. This article offers suggestions about how to involve your kids in the kitchen in more detailed ways!
“My children, at the young ages of 5, 3, and 1, are little mirrors of the passion I have for cooking. They jump at any chance to do it, and cling to every word as I talk about seasoning, cooking technique, and fresh nourishing foods. I appreciate this as I want these children to grow up knowing how to cook real, healthy foods.
As I involve them in the kitchen I am teaching them how to cook, and it always amazes me how quickly they learn. Even my one year old catches on to what big sister and brother are doing and does her best to follow suit.
Beyond wanting them to know how to cook, there is the fact that I can spend quality time with them and they are kept busy and within eye sight. So, I try very hard to involve them in the kitchen with me. While I frequently get overwhelmed at the thought of cooking with children, even though I think it is very important, I never look back and regret having cooked with them.
Today I am sharing some of the ways I involve them, divided by age. (All children are different, these are based off of my experience, use your best judgment of course.) I also would love to hear how you involve your young (or older) kids in the kitchen. Please comment with your ideas.
INVOLVING A NEWBORN IN THE KITCHEN
Woven Wrap/Ergo/Moby – wear them while cooking? Yeah… let’s start with a little older then a newborn. 😉
COOKING WITH YOUNG TODDLERS/BABIES
Sampling- You would not want to use a BAD tasting banana in an smoothie, would you?
Organizing- Ok, so I know “toddler” and “organizing” should not be used in a sentence, but toddlers are often love putting item X into bowl Y. One piece a time, and with some encouragement not to eat it. But, hey, they’re learning.
Washing Produce- Put that scrub brush to work!