5 Ways to Get Kids Involved in the Kitchen

Dad and kids cooking together in the kitchen

With so many dads and kids still at home, working and learning remotely, you may be racking your brain to come up with new ways to get kids involved in the kitchen.  This is a great way to teach kids how to cook, and to keep your family entertained when eating together. Because you already have to cook, this is a great way to Get Your Kids Involved in the Kitchen, which may just be the genius solution, when you were hoping for a way to fight boredom and to spend some quality time together.


Here are Fave Ways to make it easier to get kids involved in the kitchen.


1. Get Organized

We all know how hard it is to keep our kids’ attention. When cooking with your kids, if you take too long to find the right cutting board, have trouble with your oven, or forgot to thaw your chicken beforehand, they will most likely get bored waiting and want to do something else.

Take the extra time one weekend to get kids involved in the kitchen and  make sure your kitchen is organized logically. Get rid of any utensils or cookware that are past their prime. If you’re in the market for new cookware, check out this cookware comparison chart to find what works best for you. Having the proper tools and equipment can make all the difference when cooking with your family.


2. Are Your Kitchen Appliances Working

Microwave oven 1Make sure your appliances are in optimal condition to help make meal prep easier and more enjoyable. If you have an old oven that takes forever to preheat, it may be time to tune it up.

For your appliances, if you’re having problems that slow down the process or have inconsistencies that could affect the end result, look into the manufacturer warranty, or use a home warranty if the manufacturers’ have expired.  This is a great way to keep your appliances in working order, even if they are older.

A warranty can also be used to replace an appliance that is no longer getting the job done. Some new appliances come with handy smart features such as a recipe lookup.

Get your kids involved, browsing to find new recipes to try out, or looking up an ingredient you may need in the dish you are preparing together.

When your kitchen is prepped and ready, you can ensure that your kids will be involved in active cooking and won’t be disappointed by the results caused by a faulty oven.


3. Mise En Place

Just like your kitchen needs to be prepped to cook with kids, so do the ingredients you are going to use in your recipe. So what is mise en place? The French term translates to “everything in its place” and it requires all of your ingredients to be measured, chopped, and ready to go.  They are usually set aside into prep bowls, before you start cooking your recipe.

If you want to get kids involved in the kitchen prep process, this also provides a safety net for younger kids and any possible mistakes to make sure these mistakes happen before you start cooking and not during. For example, if your kids want to help measure out a teaspoon of salt, there’s the chance that they could spill more than needed. With mise en place, the spill happens into a prep bowl, which can be tossed out and filled again, rather than into the pot on the stove, which may otherwise ruin the recipe.

Once it’s time to start cooking, your kids can add every pre-measured ingredient at the right time and feel involved and accomplished by their contribution—and you know the recipe is being followed to a T.

4. Make It Their Own

child breaking eggs in s bowlProviding your children with their own special workspace within the kitchen can foster creativity to get kids involved in the kitchen. Carve out a section of the kitchen that is just for your kids, and set up a workstation for them with their own tools; you can even have some extra ingredients that don’t need to go into the final product for them to work with.

Using something like a kids’ knife or whisk that belongs only to them provides a sense of ownership, but also keeps them and your nicer utensils safe. Make sure you have a step stool and if there is room, put them right next to you at the counter, not only for supervision, but inclusion.

You can even incorporate an apron or chef’s hat that makes the moment seem special and separate from the rest of the day.


5. Make It Fun

Per usual, we are here to fight boredom. This means that kids may need something extra to be entertained during the cooking process.

Turn on some music and make a mixing dance. Make up a song to sing while you stir. Even encourage your kids involved to play with their food!

For the food itself, don’t be afraid to add some food coloring or make crazy designs and shapes. Arrange veggies into a rainbow on a sheet pan for roasting, instead of just tossing them on there. Make a face on your homemade pizza. Let your creativity fly.


 In Closing

While of course you don’t want to destroy your kitchen, try to let messes go, or even embrace them. Kids love gooey, oozy, and sticky stuff, so let them have their own dough to mix or let them crush tomatoes with their hands. After having fun, involving them in the clean up the process can help teach kids accountability and reinforce positive behaviors.

When you get kids involved in the kitchen, this not only develops life skills they can take with them, but it can help them step away from the constant screens involved in remote learning.   All while, this allows you to connect as a family. Be as prepped and prepared as possible from the start to keep your kids involved and entertained throughout the process, so you can actually enjoy it. The next challenge to tackle? Eating healthy during the pandemic

Ken Weiss

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