Kids in the kitchen has long been a passion of mine and continues to be a subject I will enthusiastically take up with parents anytime, anywhere.
The number one question I am asked is the topic of today’s Q&A discussion: When should kids start cooking?
For me the answer is a simple one: immediately. At least, bring them in the kitchen with you as soon as possible.
Photo by Tim Chin
Children can benefit from joining you in the kitchen from infancy. Keep them near, in a highchair, swing or sling. Let them watch you move about and talk to them about what you are doing. Give them utensils, measuring cups and ingredients to play with as they begin to develop motor skills. When they have started solids, have them taste test alongside you.
Let them feel the pulse of the home at this central spot from an early age, and when it comes time to get cooking – really cooking, with knives, ingredients and heat – they will have already picked up a wealth of knowledge intuitively. At 20 months, Clara is demonstrating this to be true, and surprising me with her adeptness at such an early age.
I recently read an article “10 things children should learn to cook” on The Guardian’s Word of Mouth blog and agree wholeheartedly. Here’s a fantastic quote from the article’s author, Claire Thomson:
“Letting your kids loose in the kitchen is affording them a sense of autonomy that will set them in very good stead. Sure, ovens are hot and knives are sharp, but with a bit of guidance in these early years, they’ll soon have the confidence to cook unaided in the kitchen.”
Read the rest of the article over on The Guardian.
Want to get into the kitchen today with your little ones? Start with my post Easy Recipes that Kids Can Cook for a round-up of our favorite recipes.
Please chime in with your thoughts on starting children on their own journey in the kitchen! Any tips?