We love to cook in our home. If my husband had his way he would spend every weekend trying some new complicated recipe. The problem with that is then we don’t see him for hours at a time. So in order to solve this problem we all just cook together.

Cooking with Little Man starting at 5 months old

Cooking with Little Man starting at 5 months old

My husband started our first son young. He would wear him while he made Saturday morning breakfast. When Little Man got old enough he started letting him help by holding kitchen tools. Sometimes we would even set him up on the floor with his own empty bowl and whisk so he could stir like Dada. As Little Man progressed in his attention span and dexterity we gave him more and more tasks. Here’s a list of tasks kids can do broken down by age.

6-12 months

  • Holds a silicone spatula, whisk or another safe kitchen tool
  • Plays with plastic food storage containers and measuring cups/spoons

1-2 years

  • Begins to hand you tools while you identify them
  • Pushes buttons
  • Can use spoons to scoop; may not be able to pour with precision
  • Can accomplish basic tasks such as dropping each piece of lettuce/tomato/apple/grape/etc. into a bowl

2-3 years

  • Snaps green beans
  • Tears leaves off of stems
  • Scoops and measures out sugar
  • Flips pancakes (this is closer to age 3)
  • Stirs batter or other substances
  • Pours
  • Mashs
  • Squeezes limes/lemons
  • Tears apart lettuce and use salad spinner
  • Spoons out potato from skin
  • Rolls out pizza/cookie dough
  • Paints with pastry brush
  • May be able to help you count out measurements

4-5 years

  • Continues to do all of the above but with more precision
  • Slices cheeses, avocados and fruits with cheese knife
  • Grates cheese
  • Peels potatoes/cucumbers/carrots
  • Uses microplane zester
  • Rinses rice and beans
  • Shakes out spices
  • Precisely measures out dry ingredients
  • Rolls dough into balls
  • Forms burger patties

Once you get them involved you may be surprised at how much they really can do. Getting them excited about the food they make will also help when it comes time to getting them to eat it. Little Man started eating green beans once he was the one snapping them. ;)

Making his renowned Saturday morning pancakes with the boys.

Making his renowned Saturday morning pancakes with the boys.

How do you get your kids involved in the kitchen? Any other tasks you have found they enjoy doing?

About 

Kate Wilkinson is a wife to an amazing man who loves to cook (yes she knows she’s lucky!) and is blessed to be a stay at home mom to her two very active boys, Little Man and Punkin. Come join her adventure to maintain sanity while she juggles a VERY energetic toddler, housework that never seems to end, and the occasional date night that isn’t thwarted by falling asleep in the movie theatre. When mommy brain allows Kate blogs at RetroModernMom.com about family, faith and the funny things in between. It may be hard living in LA but she’s a modern mom doing it the old-fashioned way.

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