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5 Traditions for Teaching Kids to Cook


4
Make Everyday Cooking More Fun
Cooking will come naturally to your kids if you encourage them to help you in the kitchen from the time they can stand on a stool.
Cooking will come naturally to your kids if you encourage them to help you in the kitchen from the time they can stand on a stool.
BananaStock/Thinkstock

Cooking will come naturally to your kids if you encourage them to help you in the kitchen from the time they can stand on a stool. While very young children obviously can't chop vegetables or drain hot spaghetti, they will love to help you stir, pour, add spices, peel vegetables (with a kid-safe peeler only) and even crack eggs.

Children love all the sensory experiences that go along with cooking and preparing food, so give them a chance to taste and smell everything that goes into a dish (with the exception of raw meat and eggs, of course!), and let them work the dough, use a rolling pin or cut out shapes if you're baking. Pretend you have your own cooking show and set out measured ingredients in small bowls or cups for easy blending. You can even give a funny chef name to every member of the family, then answer only to those names when you're working in the kitchen. Give them their own chef's hat and apron, too.

Create a family tradition where you cook big breakfasts together on the weekends, when your morning routine isn't quite as rushed. You can start with something simple like French toast, and let the menus get more elaborate as your kids' skills improve. The kids can even serve mom and dad. Just make sure cleanup is part of the deal, too, or it may turn out to be more work than it's worth!


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