These days, I am thinking more and more about age-appropriate ways I can include my boys in the daily food preparation and cooking as I am a big supporter of nurturing life skills and independence.
I’ve been thinking about this as I feel my boys are old enough now to do more things in the kitchen so they can increase their skills and knowledge in cooking and nutrition, and of course, to help me out more!
Some of the tasks that I am starting to delegate (with supervision) to my 5-year-old and my almost 3-year-old include:
- Meal planning – I ask what meals they would like to eat this week.
- Passing the ingredients out of the pantry and fridge.
- Chopping soft veggies.
- Crumbing food like chicken nuggets. They love to make a mess!
- Putting food in containers or bowls.
- Putting food in the food processor and turning the machine on when instructed.
- Mashing potato.
- Serving breakfast – Eg. putting cereal and milk in a bowl and buttering toast.
- Measuring out ingredients with measuring cups/tools.
- Adding ingredients into a bowl.
- Mixing ingredients.
- Whisking eggs.
- Scooping out mixture into muffin tins or scraping out mixture into cake tin.
- Setting and clearing the table.
- Packing and unpacking the dishwasher.
- Helping to washing up.
What I have noticed, is how much fun my boys are having helping out in the kitchen. Up until recently, they’ve mostly been watching, especially when I am trying to do things quickly, which is almost all-the-time!
Yes, initially there was a few control issues with the “Oh you’re not doing it the way I do it”, and acknowledging that things are going to take so much longer than usual. The process will get quicker as my boys become more competent as they increase their skills, knowledge and confidence.
The process will get quicker with practise, as they increase their skills, knowledge and confidence in the process of helping out.
At the end of the day, it does not matter if tasks are done differently, as long as they are getting done!
Master Chef and domestic kings here we come!
Comment below, I would love to hear about how you are including your children in the kitchen.
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