Kitchens aren’t thought of as the most kid-friendly environments with the myriad of potential dangers lurking: knives, hot oil, bare burners, high shelves . . . Instead of relegating kids to the living room every night, try introducing them to the cooking process with fun tasks for them -- and worry-free help for you! It’s a great way to get them interested in what they’re eating, and help them as they ultimately transition to cooking for themselves.
Next time you go to the market, have a chat with your child beforehand. Have them brainstorm their favorite eats, and then plan a dish you can cook together. Write out a list of everything you’ll need. At the market, explain how to pick out the best produce or meats.
Break the dish down into steps, and have your kid do as many steps as possible. For example, make a salad and have them mix the vinaigrette and then toss the salad. You can do the chopping until you’re comfortable with them handling knives -- and check out kid-friendly knives, too!
Have your child arrange the plates as they see fit -- encourage different shapes, faces, and ways to layer the elements of the dish.
Serving can be as exciting as the actual preparation, especially since your child is likely to be proud of what they’ve created. Have them bring the plates to the table and finish with an explanation of the dish and a dramatic flourish, like a bow!
For tried and true recipes friendly both for the palate and for any age range, give some of these a try!