25 Fun Ideas to Get Your Kids Involved in the Kitchen

  July 3, 2018

Every child can benefit from having some fun in the kitchen! So since school is out – it is a great opportunity to get a little dirty and make a mess. If you already have children with a good relationship with food they will love trying out some new recipes. Even if you have a child that is struggling with eating a variety of food they will benefit from making food fun. Cooking in the kitchen can help all children have fun and learn to be comfortable around new foods.

Without the hustle and bustle of a full day at school, it may have opened up some more time at night or maybe even during the day to teach your children to get involved in playing with food. Cooking with kids has so many benefits.

Exposure

Involving your children with food by cooking can increase their exposure to new foods. The more exposure to foods your child has, the more likely they are to eventually learn to sneak up on those foods. It doesn’t mean they will happily eat what they make, but it will help them to have a more neutral exposure to them.

Motor Skills

Cooking provides a great opportunity to help your young children develop fine motor skills.

Toddlers – They benefit from large spaces and large bowls and a lot of supervision because they are developing fine motor skills. They are busy using large muscles. Stirring, scrubbing, pouring and patting are great options for them.

Preschoolers – They have more precision – they can start to measure using measuring cups and spoons as well as all the things the younger kids can do. They can roll cookies, meatballs, spread batter into muffin tins or cake pans. They often enjoy spreading sauce onto pizza. They love dropping food – such as shredded cheese on the pizza or chocolate chips on top of the cookies.

Older Kids – As children get older they benefit from learning to slice and dice food. They can learn to safely turn on the stove top or oven and cook easy foods such as scrambled eggs or grilled cheese. They are also very good at measuring with precision. They also enjoy peeling vegetables, using a zester or shredding cheese.

Life Skill

You don’t know how many teenagers that I work with that have no idea how to cook anything. Cooking really is a life skill. Imagine sending your 18 year old off to college with no idea how to put a meal together – feeding themselves will probably be a struggle. The earlier you start the more they can learn to enjoy it or at least ‘get by’ with cooking as they get older.

Educational

Math Skills – Uses basic math skills (adding, subtracting, multiplying, fractions)

Reading Skills – Learning to read recipes and follow directions

Science – Cooking is a science experiment – observing what happens before and after food is cooked. Observing touch, taste, smells and textures.

…and I think the most important bonding with your kids and making memories!!

I’ve complied a list of of 15 Fun Recipes to Help Your Child Get Involved with  Cooking in the Kitchen

Cooking Ideas:

  1. English Muffin Pizzas
  2. Strawberry Banana Smoothies
  3. Banana Ice Cream
  4. Yogurt Ice Pops
  5. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins
  6. Yogurt Covered Berries on a Stick
  7. Pepperoni Pizza Crescents
  8. Breakfast Sushi
  9. Cucumber Sandwiches
  10. Apple Cookies
  11. Rainbow Pancakes
  12. Trail Mix
  13. Cherry Icee Drink
  14. Scrambled Eggs
  15. Pancake Bites

If you have a child that is too young to cook or doesn’t love the idea of making recipes, it doesn’t mean you can’t create some fun around food. Here are 10 great ideas that use food as ways to have fun.

Food Play

  1. Spaghetti Play
  2. Stuck in the Mud
  3. Color Sorting Bin
  4. Color Rice
  5. Jello Jiggler
  6. Garden Vegetable Printing
  7. Mashed Potato Snowmen
  8. Edible Finger Paint
  9. Watermelon Volcano
  10. Rainbow Potato Smash

I’ve linked all these recipes to my Pinterest board ‘Food Fun For Kids.’ Feel free to follow for all the recipes as I update them with new ideas.

I’m running a FREE Kids in the Kitchen Challenge – we are going to have lots of fun working together to play and cook with our kids over the next month. If you are interested in joining the challenge click this link here and submit your email address. We start July 15th!!! 

Sometimes cooking with kids and food play can be messy, but it will be so worth it when your children experiences the self-confidence around cooking and learn to sneak up on a variety of food. It lays the foundation for healthy eating habits.

 

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The 5 Foods to Serve Your Family

Your children are struggling to eat a good variety of food. They are eating something one day and not the next. You are tired of having to make special meals for everyone - it feels like you are a short order cook rather than a parent. Meals time doesn’t have to this stressful! This downloadable is the first step in getting more variety on the table so everyone can enjoy meal time and find something to fill up on!