The holiday season is always accompanied by a ton of cooking and we all know we could use a second pair of hands. If you’ve got kids in the house, you have a built-in helper you may not be taking advantage of! While a busy kitchen can be a dangerous place for little ones, getting your kids involved in the kitchen can be very beneficial. Kids who grow up cooking often build healthier eating habits and take pride in eating dishes they helped create. Teaching them how to cook also builds on an important life skill and will build their confidence as they learn more and get better. Here are just a few ways to start getting your kids involved in the kitchen this holiday season.
Remember that if they’ve never been in the kitchen before, you don’t want to throw them onto something intricate. Start with those simple tasks that are easy for them and helpful for you!
- Wash and rinse vegetables and fruits. Set them up with a colander at the sink and let them get to work!
- Pick herbs off the stems.
- Brush melted butter or oil on top of the pie crust.
- Tear clean lettuce and greens for the salad.
- Use the cookie cutter to cut out cookies and place them on the baking sheet. You may have to do a few minor adjustments, but they’ll be having all the fun!
Get Their Hands Dirty
If you think they’re ready for more, kick it up a notch and give them tasks that will challenge them a little. Just make sure you show them how to do it before you let them take over.
- Mash the potatoes. Once your potatoes are cooked and cooled, pull out the masher and let them go!
- Measure the ingredients. Math and cooking? That’s double the learning! If you’re baking, make sure you show them how to properly measure the ingredients so the end product is still delicious.
- Stir batter together. If you’ve combined all of the ingredients together, let them put the final work into it and stir it all together.
- Let them roll out the dough. If you’re making a batch of cookies, prep the surface for them and show them how to use the roller.
Once you see how your little one adapts to kitchen tasks, you can judge what else they can help with. If you need to show them how to do something, make sure to step back and let them try it on their own too. A little independence will help them learn how to do it on their own and further build their confidence. Remember to reassure them with positivity, even if the end product is Pinterest-perfect. Who knows, you could be living with the next Master Chef! Happy Holidays!