Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Mom to Mom Mom to Mom

Keeping Kids Involved With Cooking and Mealtime

Posted by   + Show Post

Since both of my children have been diagnosed with a gluten-intolerance, and we all follow a mostly "Paleo" lifestyle, most of our food is cooked at home and made from scratch. We eat very, very little processed food, and it's a lot easier to teach the kids to avoid gluten when the only ingredient is the product itself and they help prepare meals.

I'm very lucky that I have one child, my oldest daughter who is almost six, who will eat pretty much everything. My little guy, nearly four, is picky and I swear could sustain himself on organic yogurt, strawberries, and green beans. But one way I've found to get them to try and experiment with new foods is to get them involved in the cooking and making the end product kid-friendly. Here are some things I do with my kids to get them excited to love and eat Real Food and hopefully develop lifelong appreciation and habits.

1)      Don't shoo them out of the kitchen when you're cooking (unless safety is an issue). Explain to them what  you're doing and how you're doing it. Explain how you're cutting the onion, why you slice the tomato that way, why you peel the cucumber. Tell them what spices you're using and what flavors they give the food. Let them smell the cinnamon and ask them their thoughts. Learning to cook shouldn't be something we keep from children, no matter how young. They listen way more than we give them credit for, even as toddlers.

2)      Give them tasks they can "help" with. I give my daughter a butter knife to "cut" up cucumbers for me. I peel them and slice them into sticks and ask her to cut them into cubes. She takes her little cutting board and is so proud of her mushy final product. I started this with her even as young as three with one of those dull kids knives. Kids also love to crack eggs (have them do this in a separate bowl so you can pick out any shells before adding them into your dish), roll meatballs with their hands, mash bananas, and stir batter. Messes are easy to clean up, this time with your kids teaching them important lessons are fleeting. Embrace them.

3)      Plate the food in a fun way. As you're getting ready to serve your food, keep reminding them how yummy it's going to be and how they made it themselves and how proud you are. Then put it on the plate in a fun way. Make a face out of carrot sticks and raisins, or make a "taco assembly line." One of my favorite tricks are toothpicks. Put those frilly toothpicks in anything - meatballs, fruit, cheese - and they immediately become fun to eat.

Do you get your kids involved in cooking? What tricks do you use to get them to try new foods?

by on Apr. 13, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (31-40):
KristinRox
by on Apr. 14, 2012 at 9:42 PM

My kids LOVE to stir the ingredients in the bowl. My boys are also 4 and 2. :0)

Quoting copperswifey:

Great post! Yes my two daughters ages 4 and 2 love to cook. I will let them stir and pour ingredients into a bowl. They always get so excited. I don't have any tricks to get them to try new foods. My 2 year old will eat anything and my picky 4 year old we just tell her she has to try it. If she doesn't like it then she doesn't have to eat it, but she has to at least try it. :)


JOIN US ON:



Leelee1008
by Member on Apr. 14, 2012 at 9:42 PM

its crazy but I am just so afraid they are going to either catch the house on fire or burn their self.

Quoting KristinRox:

I get nervous when my kiddos get near the stove too. 

Quoting Leelee1008:

I should let them help alot more than I do. I am a nervous freak when they are around flames. My kids are accident prone lol.



KristinRox
by on Apr. 14, 2012 at 9:43 PM

Very cool. Sounds like a fun time. 

Quoting ceciliam:

My son helps me in the kitchen all the time. We just got back from a cooking class at Wegmans, that is designed for kids. They made a cucumber/tomato salsa and planted a starter garden of cucumbers, tomatoes, spinach, beets and chard.


JOIN US ON:



KristinRox
by on Apr. 14, 2012 at 9:43 PM

I normally get worried that they are going to burn themselves... it makes my stomach flip flop when they get too close. 

Quoting Leelee1008:

its crazy but I am just so afraid they are going to either catch the house on fire or burn their self.

Quoting KristinRox:

I get nervous when my kiddos get near the stove too. 

Quoting Leelee1008:

I should let them help alot more than I do. I am a nervous freak when they are around flames. My kids are accident prone lol.




JOIN US ON:



KristinRox
by on Apr. 14, 2012 at 9:45 PM

I do the same thing. 

Quoting elijahsmama09:

I pre-measure things and let him dump them in.


JOIN US ON:



Charizma77
by Carissa on Apr. 14, 2012 at 11:05 PM
My dd loves to help out. I think she's going to be a good cook.
Samanthamommy
by on Apr. 15, 2012 at 12:29 AM

I love to have my kids help with cooking!

Samanthamommy
by on Apr. 15, 2012 at 12:29 AM

Me too!

Quoting KristinRox:

I normally get worried that they are going to burn themselves... it makes my stomach flip flop when they get too close. 

Quoting Leelee1008:

its crazy but I am just so afraid they are going to either catch the house on fire or burn their self.

Quoting KristinRox:

I get nervous when my kiddos get near the stove too. 

Quoting Leelee1008:

I should let them help alot more than I do. I am a nervous freak when they are around flames. My kids are accident prone lol.





Samanthamommy
by on Apr. 15, 2012 at 12:30 AM

I agree

Quoting dixiegurl223626:

It also helps if he gets to help plan the dinners


Samanthamommy
by on Apr. 15, 2012 at 12:30 AM

So is my son, I love that he's not too picky

Quoting lalasmama2007:

My dd loves to help with cooking. I don't have any tricks when it comes to trying new things. My dd will willingly try anything once.


Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN