How Young Children Can Help in the Kitchen – National Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day
To celebrate National Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day, (September 13th) we are bringing you some fun ideas of how to have your children help out.
A big thank you to Applebees for asking us to join them on this segment. For a limited time, all of the 66 TEAM Schostak Applebee’s Restaurant locations are hosting $.99 cent meals on Tuesdays for children (with the purchase of an adult meal). You can read more about the special offer on our blog:
How do your kids help you in the kitchen? Leave a comment below.
How your child can help in the kitchen is based on many factors like maturity, dexterity, attention, interest, so use your best judgement to determine what is appropriate for your child.
Let your child observe while you cook. Give them chances to handle save objects like plastic mixing bowl, measuring cups, spatulas, spoons, etc. Talk to your children while you cook, explain what you are doing, you can even let them smell or taste some of the ingredients (providing they are safe).
There is a huge range of abilities here.. but kids as young can “help” in the following tasks while you place your hand over theirs until they are able to do it on their own.
- Cut soft foods with a plastic knife.
- Roll out and knead pizza or bread dough.
- Juice lemons and limes.
- Measure and level dry ingredients with a straight edge.
- Spread peanut butter, butter and jam.
- Set the timer.
- Whisk a vinaigrette.
- Peel a cooled hard-boiled egg.
- Set the table.
- Rinse dishes that aren’t too heavy.
- Spray and Wipe the counter or kitchen table
- Clean the sink
- Scoot in chairs
- Set the table
- Fill the dishwasher soap compartment, and press the “Start” button.
- Unload the dishwasher (especially the plastic items)
- Close cupboards and drawers
- Take out and put away items within their reach and ability
- Clean up spills
- Place recyclable items in the bin
- Tasting as you prepare
- Setting a timer on your phone or tablet (or an old school wind up one)
- Using biscuit or cookie cutters
- Selection of menu items (picking out a veggie, or even planning a meal)
At this age, children should still be supervised in the kitchen, but they are able to complete most tasks without much intervention. They help in the kitchen by completing any of the previous tasks and:
- Measuring ingredients
- Dicing and mincing vegetables
- Grating cheese (watch out for fingers)
- Peeling potatoes, carrots and other veggies and fruit
- Slicing fruits and veggies
- Greasing pans
- Forming cookies, rolls, patties
- Pouring ingredients
- Cooking at the stove with close supervision
- Use a can opener or garlic press
- Use a hand mixer
- Scoop batter into muffin tins
- Scoop dough onto cookie sheets
- Slice bread
- Help put away groceries
- Load the dishwasher