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  • Writer's pictureAshley Cummins, RN, INHC

Get Those Kids In the Kitchen!

It was super important to my husband and I to teach our daughter how to cook. We started getting out daughter in the kitchen from an early age. I just want to share with you some things we have done to get our daughter familiar with the kitchen and ready to learn how to cook.

· Start with the small things. I just started by holding my daughter whenever I was cooking (avoiding any hot splatter cooking). I would talk to her and teach her what specific items I was using were called. This is a pan, this is a spatula, I am flipping the eggs /pancakes / burgers. I would show her how the stove is hot and let her hand come closer to it to feel the heat. Once kids know kitchen basics, it allows everyone to be a little more comfortable in the kitchen.

· Get a helper tower. My dad made me a helper tower for the kitchen and I would recommend parents who want to encourage their children to cook get one! My daughter just slides hers across the floor to wherever she wants to be. The tower we have has a rail at my daughter’s chest height to prevent her from falling onto the stove.

· Be patient. I have to have a talk with myself every time I step into the kitchen with my daughter. Know that it is going to be messy and slow…. and that’s okay. Your child’s skills will grow with time. Practice makes better!

· I like to practice my daughter’s hand coordination. She can stir foods on the skillet or in a pot and in a bowl. She can pour filled measuring cups and spoons in a bowl. She can hand me an egg and even help me crack it. She can retrieve ingredients for me. She can tear the lettuce when we are making a salad. Do you see the recurring theme here? She is helping and she is overwhelmed with delight to do so! You can also practice these things with your child when you play. We have a play kitchen and let her practice with water or outside with sand.

· Let your kids help with the tasting! My daughter loves this part and she gets to see how you adjust flavors!

It is truly amazing what these little ones are capable of when we invite them in to these spaces. I hope this post encourages your to bring your little one(s) into the kitchen with you.

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