Kids can be a big help in the kitchen but it is always a good idea to consider getting an adult to help in the kitchen when kids are cooking.
What can kids do in the kitchen? Depending on their age and experience, some can do more than others. Here are a few guidelines.
Simple tasks such as washing fruits and vegetables and adding chopped ingredients to a dish are appropriate They can help find ingredients. They can stir things.
Preschool kids between 2 and 5 years old can perform slightly more complex tasks. They can rinse fruits and vegetables. They can measure ingredients and also help set the table. They can butter bread or spread icing.
Elementary school kids can handle a little more.
They can roll dough, and form hamburgers, meatballs, and cookies. They can toss salad ingredients together with salad dressing. They can break eggs and cut with a kid-friendly knife. They can make a fresh fruit platter. They can snip herbs with kid-friendly scissors. They can peel oranges or hard-boiled eggs.
High school kids can improve their knife skills and assist with meal planning and preparation. They can pan-fry foods on the stove and sauté vegetables.
Some basic tips for kids before they start cooking
• Pull your hair back out of the way.
• Roll up your sleeves – long draping sleeves can get caught on pot handles!
• Always wash your hands before cooking
• Be careful with sharp tools and knives
• Always use potholders when handling hot foods
• If you have younger brothers and sisters, keep them a safe distance from the stove/oven (3 feet)
Kids can learn many lessons from cooking – hygiene – why it is important to wash your hands and surfaces before cooking; math – counting, measuring and dividing ingredients; following instructions – reading and following a recipe; time and patience.
Kids will learn many things but the best lesson is they can learn to love preparing delicious and healthy meals for the family.
Fire & Life Safety Educator, Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue
By: Cinda Seamon