It can be way more of a hassle than a help to have your kids involved when you are rushing to get a meal on the table. But if you take just 15 minutes of assistance from a tiny sous chef and make it more of a game and less of a chore, you may be surprised how much it pays off, not only in getting dinner to the table, but in establishing healthier eating habits as well.
My two-year old daughter started eating raw carrots, zucchini, squash and romaine lettuce after I simply let her wash vegetables at the kitchen sink (as in: dunk in water, put in a bowl, dunk again.) Whether it was the cleaning ritual or the feeling of independence, she was inspired to nibble and taste what she was handling. Based on your child’s age, here are more kitchen tasks that can be more fun and games than drudgery with a little supervision from mom or dad plus a few recipes to let kids test their skiills:
- Toddlers: Rip lettuce/greens, wash produce in bowl of water
- Preschoolers: Cut fruit/vegetables with plastic knife, toss salad
- Grade School: Separate eggs, blend a smoothie, stir ingredients for baking
- Teens: Plan a dinner menu, do the grocery shopping and prepare the main dish.
—By Holly Clegg, Cookbook Author