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Every since my little ones started to become toddlers, they have always been curious as to what I’m doing when it’s time to get lunch, breakfast or dinner on the table. They love to watch me cook, adding various ingredients to make a meal as well as help grocery shop for items we need. At what age is it a good time to actually have them help you in the kitchen without them getting hurt you might ask? Well I have a few tips and tricks that our little ones always love to be apart of and it’s safe for them to do ( plus a lot of fun ).
1 Observing – If your little one is a little too young to actually help, the best thing we always did was keep them in their high chair and allow them to observe us cooking in the kitchen. I’d give them a wooden spoon and bowl to keep them entertained and also so they could mimic me stirring our ingredients together and they could do the same without creating such a big mess! Of course as they got older, stirring the ingredients is their favorite part. Be sure to have a lot of napkins, paper towels and wipes on hands for them to clean up with when they are finished!
2. Pour Dry Ingredients Into A Bowl- This was a favorite of my youngest to do. He’s a big pancake eater so his favorite thing would be to watch me measure the dry ingredients that were needed into a bowl and he’s squeal when it was his turn to pour it into our big mixing bowl. All the flour would create a mushroom haze in the kitchen which he also would giggle about!
3. Wash Ingredients- My children love being able to play in the water so if they were wanting to help prep some ingredients, they always asked to wash any of the fruit or vegetables that we needed. This is an easy thing for them to do, so I make sure the water is not too hot or cold and let them each take turns picking out the potatoes or apples that we needed and wash them under the cool water. Then they would switch and the other would wash and then dry their ingredient.
4. Crack An Egg– If your child is a bit tactile, this might not be for them but if they enjoy getting their hands a little slippery and slimy, this is perfect. Of course while they are learning to crack an egg there will be shells involved so make sure you have a spoon nearby so they learn how to grab the shell out of the bowl. Also make sure they are sitting down when they crack an egg too. I’ve learned this the hard way with a few broken eggs!
Image: Premier Surfaces
5. Help Wash Down The Counters– Cooking isn’t the only thing the kids can help with in the kitchen. Mine love to help clean up all the dirt and mess they’ve made and lucky for me, we installed these gorgeous Carrara Marble Countertops! They not only look gorgeous but were so easy to install thanks to Premier Surfaces who has various locations all around the United States. Their customer service is second to none and they help with any questions or concerns we have when it comes to installation and keeping our counters clean during all the mess we make. Carrara marble tends to have a muddy white base or grayish background with soft veining, while Calacatta has a more pure white background with dramatic darker grey veining. It might be difficult to tell with the untrained eye but once you put them side by side you can definitely tell the difference. If you are looking for countertops that are not the main focal point for a room, we suggest Carrara marble countertops. If you want to make a statement, then you should consider Calacatta marble. Specifically, if you have a large island in your kitchen.
6. Using A Can Opener – There are so many new gadgets for kids to enjoy and one of them is helpful and not as dangerous to open up cans for soups or adding broth to a meal is using a can opener. We have one that is extremely safe to use because it opens the can up without you making you nervous they will slice their finger!
7. Slicing Vegetables/Fruits With A Plastic Knife– As the kids get older they can use a plastic knife to help prep fruits or vegetables that isn’t too sharp for them. My kids love to slice up peppers, help cut the tops off of strawberries or even start to learn how to peel in apple in one long strand! Make it a game for who can peal can be the longest!
Being in the kitchen doesn’t have to be stressful, especially if your kids are interested in wanting to help! Make it fun, make it encouraging and most of it all, make it memorable for your kids to enjoy cooking with you!