The Ultimate Guide to Cooking with Kids
Kids in the kitchen means they’ll be learning life skills and academic skills at the same time! We rounded up some helpful tips, ways to incorporate subjects like reading, math, and science into cooking, and share some easy recipes for kids. Let’s get cookin!
Helpful Tips & Tricks
Prepare for a Mess: Dress the kids up in old clothes, have rags at the ready, broom and dustpan on hand, and use the largest mixing bowls you can find.
Try Kid-Friendly Knives: If your little one is just starting out, try kid-friendly knives that will cut through tough fruits and vegetables but are much safer on skin. Megan from kitchn shares her three favorite knives for kids under 10 years old.
Make Cooking into a Game: To help kids keep an eye on whatever’s cooking, turn it into a guessing game. “I bet the water will boil by 7:03!”
Star in Your Own Cooking Show: Pretend you and your kid are the star of your own cooking show. Kids love narrating and discussing what they’re doing (even for the not-so-fun parts of cooking… like washing dishes!)
Get Touchy: Let the kids touch vegetables from the dirt, different types of fruit, raw meat, etc. Kids are more likely to try new foods when they’re involved in preparing it. Plus, it encourages sensory development in little ones. Just remind them to constantly wash their hands.
Kitchen Smarts: How to Incorporate Learning While Cooking
Reading: Develop reading and fluency skills by having your child read the entire recipe before starting. This helps young cooks prepare for what they have to do ahead of time.
Vocabulary: Chopping, dicing, slicing, boiling, blanching, blending… there’s so many words to learn while cooking! Share and show the definition of different cooking and baking terms.
Math: Doubling recipes, measuring ingredients, weighing produce, watching the clock… learning math concepts (fractions, measuring, elapsed time) is so much more fun when there’s food involved.
Culture & Geography: Try dishes from your family’s culture (ask the grandparents for a favorite recipe!) and explore the cuisines of other cultures and countries. Explain where special ingredients may come from and identify countries on a map.
Science/STEM: The kitchen is the perfect ‘laboratory’ for exploring all sorts of science topics! Encourage an “I wonder” mindset that allows kids to develop a sense of curiosity in the kitchen. Make a prediction (hypothesis), conduct research and observations, and discover answers.
- I wonder why an egg gets hard when boiled, but pasta gets soft.
- I wonder what makes food taste salty, sweet, or bitter.
- I wonder what makes dough rise.
Try This: Easy Recipes for Kids
Tracey Doty, owner and founder of Lil’ Chef School in Irvine recommends this super yummy, no-bake strawberry shortcake! It’s a basic recipe that’s easy to modify and differentiate for chefs of all ages.
Try these other recipes:
Frozen Yogurt Berry Bites – Happiness is Homemade
Pizza Bagel Bites – Life Made Simple
Cheeseburger Soup – The Recipe Critic
Ham and Cheese Pinwheels – Well Plated
Mini Lasagnas – Catching Fireflies
Tater Tot Casserole – My Baking Addition
Hot Dog Nuggets – Lil’ Luna
Baked Potato – Real Simple
What recipes do your kids love to make themselves? Share with us below!
This post was written by Kidsguide