8 Kitchen Tasks For Toddlers

Posted on December 14, 2015 by Amanda Holliday | 0 Comments

It has been shown that getting kids involved in the kitchen early can lead to a lifetime of healthy eating habits. At least healthier eating habits. :) Cooking together helps develop your child’s palate, build an interest and awareness of where their food comes from, and allows opportunity to practice skills like reading and math. Plus, it's a fun bonding activity! 

But where do you start? What are appropriate and safe tasks for kids? Below are 8 tasks that little ones can help with. Of course, always supervise closely, and use your judgement as to what is right for your child.

    1. Washing fruits and vegetables: use a sturdy step stool, or learning tower and let your kids help scrub and rinse. Talk to them about where the product comes from and how it grows. You can also get into the dirty dozen/clean fifteen with older kids. 
    2. Scooping and measuring ingredients: hand over the appropriate size measuring cup, and let them scoop flour, sugar, rice, beans, oatmeal for baking or other recipes. As they get older and have better control, let them start measure teaspoons and tablespoons, too. 
    3. Cutting herbs: use craft scissors for basil, or have the kids tear the leaves off cilantro or parsley. This will take concentration and focus. 
    4. Cracking eggs: this may take some practice, but is a favorite for little ones. Have them crack eggs into a separate bowl, so you can check for shells before adding to a pan or batter. 
    5. Stirring: let the kids stir pancake or cookie batter, or mix up a salad. Use an oversized bowl to contain some of the spilled. For safety reasons, leave the stirring of hot soups and sauces to the adults. 
    6. Blending: let the kids pulse the food processor, or push the button to blend up a smoothie, and watch their little brains go crazy. Again, avoid having the kids blend hot items, and always keep a hand on the blender or food processor while they push the buttons. 
    7. Cutting fruits and vegetables: select a “knife” based on your child’s skill level (beginner – craft scissors, intermediate – plastic lettuce knife, advanced – small pairing knife, expert - 6" chef's knife. And then let them help chop fruits and vegetables. Start with softer foods that are easy for them to hold safely and cut without a lot of effort. 
    8. Cleaning up: take advantage of the fact that toddlers actually love to clean, and also teach them that cleaning up is part of the cooking process. Let them wipe down counters, sweep up flour, or help you rinse or dry dishes.

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