Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tasty Tuesday - Kids In The Kitchen, Part 1

I don't know how many of you have children, but I have three. They are always wanting to help out in the kitchen. Although it is almost always more work to have our children "help" us around the house, I believe it is crucial to their well-being. Not only will it help them learn how to function and contribute in their family, but it will also teach them to enjoy helping out. As they get older, they will know that it is expected and that it is fun to be a part of the family!

So today I'm beginning the series Kids In The Kitchen. To help me out, would you please vote in the poll on the right side of the screen? I'd love to know how many children my readers have! :)

Since my children are still toddlers, I'd like to start out by talking about ways that younger children can help out in the kitchen. If these seem like ultra-easy tasks, don't worry - there is more to come for the older kids! Now, there are some obvious things that young children cannot and should not do in the kitchen (like use the oven or boil water), but there are lots of other things they can help out with, such as:

1. Help stir muffins, pancakes, waffles, cake mix, or any other batter.
2. Help make cookie dough balls or cut-out cookies.
3. Add raisins to oatmeal.
4. Sweep the floor. (They make mini brooms just for kids)!
5. Dust table and chairs.
6. Clean patio door window.
7. "Wash" dishes. (This is sometimes more of a mess than a help, but kids love the water)!
8. Take out trash (Our kids take out the small bags or the "stuff" like milk cartons).
9. Add toppings to homemade pizza.
10. Carry dishes and cups to sink after meals. (I try to only give our kids plastics for this reason).

What do your kids enjoy doing in the kitchen?? What ways have you found to include them?? If you have any ideas or links to point me toward for this series, feel free to leave me a comment! :)

Other parts of this series:

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4


Gina said...

My 5 year old daughter loves to wash dishes, clean all the fruit and store them in containers in the fridge as well as mix a bunch of snacks, pretzels,nuts,raisins,chocolate chips,etc into individual "snack packs" for the week.

My 2 year old enjoys having me pass him the laundry from the washer and let him put it in the dryer.

Amy said...

i have a cooking w/ kids cookbook for you to check out...i'll try to drop it off this week...

FLUUD7 said...

AMY: Cool, thanks. I know such books exist in large quantities, but seriously...do I really have time to get to the library?

daisygirl said...

Nathaniel (4) helps set the table before dinner and clear it after dinner. Our washer/dryer is in our kitchen as well and Malachi (2) loves to push the clothes into the dryer as I take them from the washer.
They also both enjoy the stirring/mixing things though that takes patience I have difficulty finding at times :)
I also let Nathaniel set the timer on the microwave for something cooking in the oven or on the stove top. This has helped with number recognition and the concept of the numbers equaling a time.

Amy said...

heidi...my kid cookbook is pampered chef (haha, go figure)...you are always welcome to come to my library, we have quite the cookbook collection (my mom gave me most of hers last year).

Courtney said...

My 2 y.o. LOVES to take the recycling from it's spot on the counter to the garage recycling bin. She also helps stir and puts the veggies out for veggie trays.

Jane said...

My 7, 6, and 3 year old sons set and clear the table. The older two love to "serve" - whether that's bringing full plates to the table at lunch, or putting foods, condiments, etc. on the table at dinner.

The 7 year old makes breakfast for his brothers almost every morning, and sometimes helps prepare other meals. My 3 year old loves to put away groceries and "help" wash dishes, and the 6 year old is the dishwasher empyting champ.

They work together to clean up the dining room after dinner too. One sponge-cleans the tabletop, another sweeps the floor (1 year old little brother drops/throws a LOT of crumbs/pieces of food), and the third is in charge of moving and then replacing chairs for the person who is sweeping. Teamwork makes a big difference in their attitude towards tasks to be done!

larson fam said...

Our kids always like to throw the chopped potatoes cubes into a pot of water for making mashed potatoes. They can also put the chopped toppings onto a salad.

Tina said...

My boys love to help out in the kitchen. I let my 11 year old help me with meals and of course cleaning. He likes to help cook. My 3 year old wants to do everything. His favorite phrase right now is "I help, Mama!" He helps me empty the dishwasher by bringing me the dishes as I put them away. He loves using the electric mixer and spraying the dishes and sinks down. He gets things out of the frig when I need them and likes to put the water and coffee in the coffee maker. He helps me load the washer, water the plants, and feed the dog, which is my 11 year olds job. My little one loves helping his mommy and I love for him to help. Yes, it does take a little more time, but it's well worth it to me. I just hope he enjoys it just a much when he's older! :D