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Safe Cooking with a 2 1/2 year Old?

Specifically I was wondering what you ladies thought of my 2 1/2 year old helping me cut up hot dogs (she was holding the knife and my hand was over hers and I had full control)... Also letting her mix while heating something up? We made Beans and franks for dinner and I let her help... I really just started lately thinking it's time I let her help, she's been wanting to for awhile... So for her age what can I let her help me with?

Thanks!!! I put this Anon just in case people have issues with me letting her mix while I was heating the beans and franks... The reason I'm posting this ? is because I'm not sure what is age appropriate as far as cooking goes...

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 7:12 PM on Sep. 23, 2009 in Food & Drink

Answers (9)
  • I think its fine as long as you let her know she isnt allowed to touch the knives without you helping her. Safety first! and it seems like you were on top of it. Sounds like you two had fun

    Answer by firethearson at 7:14 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • The mixing isn't an issue as long as you were next to her during it. The knife would make me nervous just because I would worry about where her other hand was. What we do is give the little ones a dinner knife (you know, the dull ones) and let them cut up the softer items. We also let them butter the bread. When I bake they help me by measuring out the amounts and putting them in the bowl (I give them the measuring cup they need). But I started with this when they were old enough to take interest. It is very good for them. My 3 yr. old now will move away when the oven is opening because he KNOWS it's hot, he doesn't touch the stove eyes because he KNOWS they get hot, and that is even if the eyes are off. He has been taught how to be responsible in that setting. So I completely agree with letting the little ones help out where ever they can.

    Answer by Petie at 7:18 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • well, personally I wouldn'y have. I let my son help in the kitchen, but knives and cooking over the stove are no no's for me.

    Answer by Precious333 at 7:19 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • OP here, Thank you Ladies!!! I think that using a dull butter knife to cut supervised I'll let her do.. As far as the stove it's going to be off limits in till she is much older.....

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:49 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • I had my kids helping in the kitchen as young as yours. I assigned them to tear the lettuce for salad, stir things in the bowl with a spoon, hand me things as I asked for them "get me two carrots" etc. As they got older they were allowed to do more like use sharp knives with my supervision as young as 5 to cut softer foods. I do cake decorating & they've had practice decorating simple cakes & gingerbread houses. My tweens are now able to cook complete simple meals using the stove or oven with minimal supervision & instruction.

    Your youngster may really enjoy using cookie cutters on cookie or pie crust dough, helping to stir jello, helping make salads, etc. It's GREAT that you're including her & it sounds like you're being VERY careful. There will invariably be small accidents like burned fingers or small cuts (even adults have those) but making safety rules for the kitchen & beginning to teach them now is a great idea.

    Answer by michiganmom116 at 9:40 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • Instant pudding is fun and easy for them to mix with a whip. I always let mine help with baking. I would measure the ingredients and let the kids dump them in the bowl, and wash their hands and let them help make the dough into balls.

    Answer by ohwrite at 11:50 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • My 3yr old wants to 'help' too, I let him do somethings, like mix stuff up, dump things in... I do not let him around the stove or oven though. I would not want him to accidentally get burned. He is showing an interest in cutting things (like hot dogs). He does have a kids butter knife (from a toddler siverwear set) and he cuts his hotdogs and food with that.

    Answer by MizLee at 8:32 AM on Sep. 24, 2009

  • My daughter will be 3 next month and she loves to help also. I let her mix, help her put in spices, help her pour stuff into bowls, but that's it. She knows not to go near the stove or knives. I tell her that's what mommies do.

    Answer by MandyT1021 at 9:07 AM on Sep. 24, 2009

  • measuring, mixing, choosing fruits and vegetables at the store are all great tasks.

    Go to your library and pick up a couple of kids cookbooks; my favorite is Pretend Soup.

    Answer by rkoloms at 9:27 AM on Sep. 24, 2009

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