The greatest tragedy of the culture I live in is the disconnect we have with our food. There is no ownership – kids inhale a box of cereal or a plastic wrapped cupcake barely tasting it, rather than savoring the love and attention that would go into a homemade cookie.
When kids own something, they appreciate it more.
But taking the extra time to show them how to properly follow a recipe, and guide them to peel, chop, and stir has awarded me children that at the age of 5 can successfully slice, pit, and quarter into a pot a bushel of peaches to make peach butter.
Here are some tips to get them in on the action!
- Let them help plan: Set out the recipes and let them help with the grocery or farmer’s market list! Talk about what is in season, show them how to stretch that whole chicken to last you all week, talk about that family gathering you need to bake cookies for. There are more lessons here than just the food – budgeting, resourcefulness, etc are all life skills that are invaluable.
- Let them help shop: Show them how to pick out that piece of fruit or vegetable. Let them find the item on the shelf and pick it out.
- Let them help food prep: From age 18 months or so you can start having those little ones up with you at the sink washing up produce, putting the items you have cut up onto a plate, and helping dump a measuring cup of flour into a bowl. By age 2 or 3 they’ll be doing it on their own! Get those squashes up on the counter for them to scoop the seeds out. Let them help you pull the chicken meat off a roasted chicken (after it has cooled!). As they become more trustworthy you can work with a small knife on simple slicing skills. You will be amazed at just how proud they will be when they conquer this!
- Let them help cook: Get your hand over theirs and show them how to stir a bowl of batter. Let them stand up with you at the soup pot and watch you stir and then you can get your hand over theirs to help them learn to do it themselves. Let your 4 or 5 year old practice flipping a washcloth with a spatula and then let them try a pancake in the pan with your help. The look of accomplishment on their face is priceless.
- Let them help serve & clean up: Practice walking with empty trays first around age 3 or so and add an empty bowl/plate/cup. After a while of practicing, fill the bowls and cups up with water, and progress from there. Teach them how to clean up after their kitchen tasks and let them do the dishes – Yes! It takes so much more time at first. But before you know it your 5 year old can practically do the dishes herself.
It is even more exciting to get into your kitchen to make things happen when you have amazing kitchen tools! I am really excited to be a host for a giveaway brought to you by MightyNest! You can enter to win $250 in baking essentials that you and the children can have fun with this fall!
MightyNest is known for providing the natural, organic, and non-toxic products. Everything you find on their site is selected to be free from known toxic ingredients such as BPA, PVC, Phthalates, Lead, Formaldehyde, flame retardants, Parabens and more. Also, anytime you order from MightyNest, they’ll give 15% back to the school of your choice. It’s a great way to use safer products and support your local school!
I can’t wait to hear all that you make in your kitchens this season!
Here’s what we’re giving away!
- 2 cup Bake & Store
- 4 Cup Bake & Store
- Endurance Silicone Spatula
- Airtight Spice Jar
- Brownie Spatula
- Measuring Spoons
- Measuring cups
- Cast Iron Loaf Pan
- 10″ Bundt Pan
- Baking/ Grilling Stone
- Mini Muffin Pan
- Silicone Mixing Spoon
- 12 x 17 Bamboo Cutting board
- Stainless Steel Whisk
To enter the giveaway, use the widget below!
Stop by each blogger’s FB page to show your support and give them a “like” for helping to host this amazing giveaway: