Logan is 2 years and 4 months old now and really such an awesome little boy. He loves helping and learning new things so lately I have been having him help me prepare food in the kitchen. We have a little step ladder that he stands on next to me at the counter or we sit at the dining room table and work.
So far he has helped me make lemon bars, chicken tortilla soup, egg salad, sandwiches, meatballs, and french toast. For the helping I’ve had him add ingredients, mix, spread condiments, and assemble. He does really well and enjoys the processes.
I don’t remember how old my bigger kids were when I first introduced them to cooking and baking but I believe they were pretty young, too, probably just not this young. My daughter has been baking for as long as I can remember and does a great job at it. I think introducing them to the kitchen at a young age is a great way to create memories and share my love of cooking and baking with them. I hope they will all love it as much as I do when they are adults.
I read an article earlier this week about when to start kids in the kitchen, beginning with the age group 3-5. I was happy to realize we are already ahead of the game! While Logan doesn’t crack eggs or measure the ingredients yet he pretends to and is happy just doing the tasks I give to him. When he gets a little older and more comfortable with what we do I’ll teach him those skills. A big and unexpected plus I noticed last night was that while we were making meatballs the process was also helping him practice math and numbers. It was thrilling to hear him tell me the correct amount of cheese pieces we needed to add to the meat when asked “We have two how, many more do we need?”
It can be a little nerve wracking at first having a little helper who wants to be involved but I think just relaxing and enjoying the moment really makes it much easier. There will be messes and mistakes and sometimes a possible melt down or two but getting calmly through those moments are also teaching experiences. No need to freak out if salt gets dumped all over the floor, just explain about being careful. No need to worry if the ingredients aren’t measured correctly, it’s all learning coordination for them. I think making a big deal about how delicious the food tastes is important too, it builds confidence and encourages them to eat foods they might not normally try.
Have you introduced your kids to the kitchen at a young age? What were (are) your experiences?