Who can make a bigger mess in a kitchen? A grown-up or a kid? Actually, age doesn’t matter; Everyone can make a mess in a kitchen! While most adults will agree that they are always cooking or cleaning the kitchen, there are lots of kitchen jobs for kids to do too!
According to French Chef Jaques Pépin, kids belong in the kitchen as early as 3 or 4 years old! While a toddler in the kitchen can certainly make a big mess in a short amount of time, Chef Jaques says it’s worth the mess they will make because of all the things they will learn from it. In Chef Pépin’s view, cooking together as a family is the most important part. “Remember that the whole goal of teaching a child to cook is to end up with a meal that everybody enjoys, or that at least everybody shares-sharing in the cooking and the eating and in the conversation.”
Cooking teaches kids self-confidence, and helps them to choose lots of different foods and try new things as they grow up. Show and involve them in all of the parts of cooking a meal:
- Writing a shopping list, including checking the pantry for things you already have at home
- Buying the food, including checking prices and choosing foods
- Reading the recipe all the way through before starting to cook
- Washing hands with soap and warm water
- Model safe cooking habits like using tools properly, cleaning as you go, and using oven mitts
- No job is too small! Helping out in the kitchen with little or big jobs, like measuring, mixing, peeling are all a big help and part of making a meal.
- Enjoy yourselves! Cooking together is a way to create memories and have fun as a family!