Cooking with Kids – Tips for Every Age

January 9, 2018

Looking for ways to get your kids involved in the kitchen? We put together a list of tasks appropriate for each age group.

Preschoolers (Ages 3-5)  

At this age, it might be hard to find basic tasks for your youngster to do in the kitchen. With a rapid growth of their imaginations, the need to touch everything in reach also grows.  

But have no fear! These fun tasks will keep your toddler busy while making sure they are staying safe: 

  • Opening ingredients from packaging  
  • Washing fruits and vegetables 
  • Peeling off skin and roots 
  • Stirring dry ingredients  
  • Spreading batter, icing, butter, etc.  
  • Setting the table  

Grade Schoolers (Ages 6-8) 

Your child has moved on from simple tasks in the kitchen and is now ready to take on a few more responsibilities. Although your  6 to 8-year-old can’t perform every job in the kitchen quite yet, you are now able to begin loosening the reins.  

These hands-on tasks will start to give your child a bit more freedom in the kitchen:

  • Measuring ingredients  
  • Stirring wet and dry ingredients  
  • Grating cheese  
  • Shucking corn 
  • Melting ingredients using the microwave  
  • Cracking eggs  
  • Rolling cookie dough into small balls 
  • Greasing pans  
  • Cutting soft ingredients  

Pre-Teens (Ages 9-12) 

Although you can’t kick back your feet while your pre-teen cooks a three-course meal just yet, your child has now advanced their status to an assistant chef.  

Although you may still want to keep an eye on their progress, these tasks will give your 9 to 12-year-old monitored independence in the kitchen:

  • Reading recipe steps out loud 
  • Scrambling eggs 
  • Preheating oven and stove  
  • Kneading dough 
  • Peeling onions   
  • Toasting bread 
  • Cutting vegetables on cutting board 
  • Draining pasta  
  • Loading and unloading dishwasher  
  • Making pancakes, waffles and other simple breakfast foods 

Teenagers (Ages 13+) 

Your child has finally reached the age of total cooking independence. It’s time to let them show you what they’ve learned over the years.  But don’t forget: bonding with your teenager in the kitchen is still fun!  

So sit back, relax and let your teen perform these more advanced tasks:

  • Using all kitchen appliances including a food processor, blender and mixer 
  • Cutting with sharp knives 
  • Boiling pasta and vegetables  
  • Chopping garlic 
  • Grilling meat on BBQ 
  • Deep frying potatoes, chicken & more 
  • Baking deserts (by themselves!)  
  • Making bread from yeast 

– Haly Brill

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