Cooking with Kids

I was honored to spend Saturday morning in the Teaching Kitchen at the Northeast Georgia Food Bank with a group of enthusiastic parents and their children who came out to cook together! We talked about involving kids in the kitchen at all ages, and had a blast making fruit water, 4-ingredient muffins and veggie bites. I thought I’d share some ways that you can involve your preschool aged children in the kitchen here as well! Bonus recipe at the bottom!

At every age

Kids are more likely to eat foods when they’ve been involved in the growing/shopping and preparation. They feel invested and want to try the fruits of their labors! Involving children in the kitchen from early ages and eating meals together (even a few times a week) helps kids learn about healthy foods and supports listening skills, communication and responsibility. You know your child’s abilities best, so trust your instinct when assigning tasks to your helpers!

From 0-2 years

I want to be with you, watch and learn! I can…

  • Become familiar with the layout and purpose of the kitchen
  • Play with wooden or silicone spoons, spatulas, measuring spoons
  • See, smell, and taste a variety of new foods (once solids are introduced)
  • Play identification games when learning to speak: foods, colors, and equipment

From 2-3 years

I’m developing more language and want to help! I can…

  • Practice counting, and naming foods
  • Begin learning about kitchen safety
  • Continue to try new foods
  • Learn where foods grow and come from
  • Help with shopping, gardening
  • Gather ingredients, bowls, utensils
  • Pour ingredients into bowls
  • Rinse produce
  • Use a salad spinner
  • Scrub root veggies
  • Tear greens
  • Stir (may need assistance)
  • Mash and shake
  • Sprinkle salt or spices
  • Put things in the trash
  • Help with easy clean up

From 3-5 years

I’m honing fine motor skills and learning basic math! I can…

  • Create menus
  • Choose a few foods at the grocery or market
  • Cut soft foods with plastic knife
  • Roll and knead dough
  • Pour batter
  • Juice citrus
  • Crack eggs
  • Peel fruits and boiled eggs
  • Measure and level ingredients
  • Spread butter
  • Set the timer
  • Whisk
  • Set the table
  • Rinse dishes
  • Wipe counters
  • Fill dishwasher soap tray

Recipe: 4 Ingredient Muffins img_3324-1

You’ll need:

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 12 large eggs, whisked
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour or ground flax seed

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line standard muffin tin with silicone muffin cups.
  2. Fold mashed bananas and whisked eggs together in a bowl, or pulse with a blender until frothy.
  3. Transfer to one mixing bowl and stir in coconut flour or ground flax seed. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and divide berries evenly between cups. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Makes 18 standard-sized muffins.

 

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