Let Your Child Be the Chef

Does your child like to help you in the kitchen?  When young children get to help prepare foods in the kitchen they learn to try new foods.  Getting your children involved in the kitchen can be rewarding for you too.  It is a great way to make meals and memories together.

 Why cook with young children?

  • Kids love to eat foods that they have helped to make.  It is a great way to encourage your child to eat fruits and vegetables.
  • Kids feel good about doing something so "grown up".  Keep the tasks small and praise them for helping. 
  • Kids love helping in the kitchen.  Take the time to teach them how to follow instructions, count, measure and stir.
  • Cooking together means more time together with your children. this is great on busy days.

What can young children do?
  • Tear lettuce for a salad.
  • Scrub and clean vegetables such as potatoes and carrots.
  • Set the tablet with napkins, place mats, dishes and utensils.
  • Stir together ingredients.
  • Help make sandwiches.
  • Pick which vegetables to go into a salad and soup.

Safety reminders
  • Remember to wash hands before you start cooking.
  • Use back burners on the stove when possible.
  • Turn pan handles toward the back of the stove and counter so children cannot grab them.
  • Never leave a child alone in the kitchen when the stove and oven are on.
  • Teach young children that they should not touch the oven or stove. Never ask a young child to put anything in the oven or remove anything from the oven.

Check out the video below from Nutrition.gov  for more ways that kids can help in the kitchen. 


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This institution is an equal opportunity provider. This material was funded by USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP. The University of Maryland Extension will not discriminate against any person because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry or national origin, marital status, genetic information, political affiliation, and gender identity or expression. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nutrition assistance to people with low income. It can help you buy nutritious foods for a better diet. To find out more about Maryland’s Food Supplement Program (SNAP), contact the Maryland Department of Human Resources at 1-800-332-6347 or apply online at https://mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us/.
© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall