Why you should allow your children to help out in the kitchen!

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – When it comes to cooking in the kitchen, if you have little kids, they want to join in on the fun! Katherine Zahirovic, Owner of Healthy Cooking with Kids talked with us about the benefits of cooking with your children as well as appropriate kitchen tasks for different age groups.

1) What are the benefits of teaching children how to cook?

  • Helps them improve academically. Reading and following recipes improves math, science, and reading skills.
  • Kids can learn important leadership skills. When cooking, children learn how to plan, get organized, and try new things.
  • Getting children involved in cooking can persuade picky eaters to try new foods. Children are more likely to try a new food if they prepare it themselves.
  • Cooking helps children learn how to focus better. Cooking can be so fun it can grab a child’s attention because they can’t wait to finish what they started!

2) Kitchen Skills that can be performed based on age ranges:

For ages 2-5:

  • Stirring ingredients in a bowl.
  • Rinsing and straining fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Pouring liquid ingredients.
  • Spreading peanut butter, jelly, cream cheese, etc. on bread.
  • Using cookie and biscuit cutters.
  • Cutting soft fruit and vegetables with a dull or plastic knife.
  • Measuring liquid and dry ingredients.

For ages 6-8:

  • Whisking eggs
  • Frosting cupcakes and icing cookies.
  • Using a can opener, juicer, and garlic press.
  • Grating cheese with a cheese grater.
  • Peeling and chopping fruits and vegetables.
  • Mixing and rolling dough.
  • Whipping cream with a hand mixer.
  • Boiling eggs and pasta.
  • Cracking eggs, and separating egg whites.

For ages 9-13:

  • Putting foods in the oven and removing them.
  • Baking breads and muffins.
  • Using specialty appliances such as a Panini press and waffle maker.
  • Steaming rice.
  • Roasting vegetables.
  • Cooking pancakes & French toast on a griddle.
  • Using a food processor, blender, and stand mixer.