Get the Kids Cooking

Cooking can be a science, math, art, and reading lesson. Landon is making Arnold Palmers by mixing lemonade and iced tea to order. Do you want half and half? Or 80/20?

Can a 7-year-old help chop the vegetables?

(Spoiler alert: No, but they can use a vegetable peeler!)

Here are some useful tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website called eatright.org on age-appropriate tasks for children helping in the kitchen. You’ll also find great resources on food safety, food shopping, and advice on safely ordering take out and curbside restaurant meals.

When you’re preparing family meals, get the kids involved!

Hannah and Logan helped create a snack platter for an outdoor gathering with crackers, guacamole and salsa.

Here are some ideas depending on your child’s age and ability:

  • 3 to 5 years old: mix together simple ingredients, snap green beans, tear lettuce for a salad, press cookie cutters
  • 6 to 7 years old: peel raw fruits and vegetables, shuck corn, use a vegetable peeler, crack eggs, measure ingredients
  • 8 to 9 years old: use a can opener, juice citrus fruits, check the temperature of foods with a thermometer, beat eggs, pound chicken on a cutting board
  • Children ages 10 and older: slice or chop vegetables, boil potatoes, microwave foods, bake foods in the oven, simmer ingredients on the stove

Start slow and give your child time to master each task.

Make family meals even more fun by letting your child choose nightly themes and menus. Or switch things up by taking it from the table to the floor – put a blanket on the ground to have an indoor picnic!