Young Chef At Work!

Did you know that children as young as two years old can start helping around in the kitchen? Having your child help you around the kitchen is a win-win situation. On one hand, you’ll get an extra pair of hands and quality time with your child. On the other hand, your child gets to learn and have fun at the same time. He’ll be able to pick up skills like counting and measuring, expand his vocabulary and also use this opportunity to express his creativity and imagination. Additionally, for children who are often difficult when it comes to meal times, participating in the food preparation process can do wonders to his appetite and eating habits!

Let’s Get Started

Naturally, your child will get excited when he gets the chance to prepare meals. This is his chance to do “grown-up” work! He probably wants to be involved in every process but do ensure that the tasks that you’ll be giving him are ageappropriate. Below are activities that your child can do, depending on his age:

2 Year Olds

  • Wash and scrub fruits and vegetables.
  • Help to roll the rolling pin.
  • Mix and mash ingredients.

3 Year Olds

  • Help pour ingredients into bowl.
  • Decorate dishes.

4 Year Olds

  • Select ingredients needed while grocery shopping.
  • Help measure amount of ingredients needed.
  • Monitor the cooking time of food.
  • Hand-mix the batter.

5 – 6 Year Olds

  • Preparing simple snacks (eg peanut butter sandwiches).
  • Help set the table and serve food.
  • Peel fruits such as oranges and bananas.
  • Decorate desserts (eg cupcakes and sugar cookies).

7 – 10 Year Olds

  • Let your child read recipes to you.
  • Plan meals with him. Give him the chance to decide.
  • Help to wash dishes.
No. 1 Rule: Safety First

While having fun is strongly encouraged, your child’s safety should be your priority. Here are some tips to ensure your kitchen is an accident-free zone:

  1. Hygiene – Remember to wash everything; you and your child’s hands, the cooking utensils and ingredients.
  2. Sharp items – Let your child know that sharp things can hurt him. Keep sharp items out of your child’s reach. When you are using them, move carefully and slowly..
  3. Electricity – Unplug the utensils that you are not using. Keep electrical utensils dry and teach your child to not interfere with such utensils when they are turned on.
Note to mothers

Activities for younger children can also be repeated for older children.

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