an age appropriate guide to cooking with kids

I’m looking forward to the time when my kids can cook me dinner but in the meantime, it’s cooking together for us. From fruity baking for lunchboxes to lazy school holiday breakfasts (berry pancakes anyone?) to helping cook dinner and preparing the salads. Cooking together is a lovely way to spend time together, get a ‘chore’ done, teach valuable life skills and create colourful and adventurous eaters!

Teach your kids that the kitchen is a place where we cook and have fun together but it is also full of dangers so we need to follow some important cooking rules:

Be clean

Be clean means washing hands, fruit and veggies and using clean equipment. Also teach kids to help you clean up afterwards.

Be careful

Be careful of things that are sharp (knives, graters, peelers) and that are hot (oven, cooktop, water). This means having an adult helping. Listening ears and walking feet.

So when can you get your kids in the kitchen?

Its important to note that the ages are very much approximate as every child is so different.

 

From when they can sit up

Simple activities like:

  • Stirring empty pots on the floor with wooden spoons
  • Playing with plastic or metal storage tubs
  • Playing with real and pretend fruit and veggies

 

From 2 years of age

 

  • Wash and scrub veggies
  • Cutting with Foost First knife (safe for kids)
  • Mixing, pouring, scooping and passing
  • Putting chopped ingredients into bowl or pot
  • Sprinkle seeds and herbs
  • Juicing (squeezing) lemons
  • Helping to make salad by tearing lettuce
  • Helping to count scoops when measuring
  • Looking through recipe books and collecting ingredients whilst shopping
  • Shucking peas, removing husks from corn
  • Putting patty pans into muffin tins
  • Topping pizzas
  • Taking things out of draws
  • Using a rolling pin
  • Brushing/painting veggies with oil

 

From 4 years of age

 

  • Crumbing fish or chicken or zucchini
  • Measuring
  • Spreading toast
  • Helping unpack fruits and veggies
  • Cracking eggs
  • Helping to set the table for family meals
  • Mashing veggies
  • Taking dishes to sink after use
  • Serving self at table using tongs
  • Getting ingredients out of fridge and cupboards

 

From 5 years of age

 

  • Rolling and shaping meatballs and patties
  • Carefully starting to grate zucchini (under supervision)
  • Kneading dough
  • Stirring porridge at the stove top (under supervision)
  • Try moving up to cutting with Foost Next Knife
  • Help reading recipes – ingredients and measurements
  • Stacking and un-stacking dishwasher
  • Help with clearing table and washing up

 

From 8 years of age

 

  • Making salad independently
  • Using a real knife
  • Making simple dishes: pancakes, scrambled eggs, pizza, porridge
  • Grating independently (be careful)
  • Making sandwiches and packing lunchboxes

 

Around 11-12 years of age

 

  • Make dinner themselves
  • Work independently in the kitchen


    What do you love to cook with your kids?

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