Tips for Cooking with Kids plus a Kid-Friendly Recipe!

Disclosure 1

One of our favorite things to do as a family is spend time in the kitchen. I’ve been cooking with Lucas since he was very young (about 2 years old) and he loves it. I can honestly say that involving him in the kitchen has helped him to learn to appreciate good food, healthy eating, cooking from scratch, and has even been educational as it helps to reinforce math and reading (measuring ingredients, reading a recipe, etc). I plan on doing the same thing with little Amelia – in fact, she is already chomping at the bit to help in the kitchen! The key to cooking with kids is preparation – below are a few tips that have helped us.

Cooking with Kids

Tips for Cooking with Kids

1. Be prepared. Set out all of the ingredients and utensils before your child enters the kitchen. If your child is younger, then pre-measure all of the ingredients that way he can help by pouring the ingredients into the bowl. One trick that I used as Lucas got older and really wanted to measure his own ingredients but wasn’t quite able to do it without a lot of help from me is that I would scoop out all of the flour (or whatever ingredient) the recipe called for and put it in a bowl. Then, I would have him “measure” the ingredient from that bowl into another bowl. That way if he didn’t fill the measuring cup enough or too much – I knew that he couldn’t mess up the recipe since the bowl he was measuring from had the right amount.

2. Make it educational! Start by involving them in picking the recipe you will both make, then have them read the recipe (or read it to them if they are too young to read) and practice math by measuring, counting the stirs, etc.

3. Give kids age-appropriate utensils like plastic and wooden spatulas and spoons. However, allow ores-school aged kids to cut. I know it’s scary, but this is the one thing they will really want to do and will make them feel good. What we did with Lucas is we allowed him to cut veggies and fruit using a butter knife. I’d pre-cut some things for him to make it easier and I’d give him softer things to cut (i.e. button mushrooms, bananas, berries, etc).

4. Be safe! Make sure to keep sharp knives away from kids, turn pot handles so they can’t be grabbed by tiny hands, offer kids a sturdy, balanced step stool, and teach your kids how to be safe in the kitchen.

5. Make it fun! Turn on some music, give kids a chef’s hat or their own personalized apron to wear. Most of all, it’s important that everyone have a good attitude. So be prepared for spills, flour on the floor, etc. That’s just part of it and it’s fun!

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Personalized Sous-Chef Apron via Personal Creations

Just this week, we put our aprons on and whipped up one of our favorite kid-friendly recipes – Banana-Walnut Bread and both kiddos joined in. Well, Amelia mostly ate the bananas and stood next to her big brother looking awfully cute LOL. Lucas, on the other hand, pretty much did the rest with just a little help from me!

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This is a wonderful recipe for kids because there are several steps that are just fun to do and easy for kids of all ages. The bananas have to be mashed.

Lucas mashing bananas

Lucas mashing bananas in our personalized The Jolly Kitchen bowl from Personal Creations. See it HERE.

 

The nuts have to be crushed (we use a mortar and pestle now, but when Lucas was younger we would put them in a large zip-top bag and let him crush the nuts with a small rolling pin).

Using the mortar and pestle

Using the mortar and pestle

And, of course there’s measuring…

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and, mixing…

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Personalized Wooden Utensil Set via Personal Creations

 

Banana-Walnut Bread Recipe

5-11

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt {or regular table salt}
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup chopped nuts {your choice}
  • 1 cup very ripe bananas, mashed {approximately 4 medium bananas}

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan with butter.

2. In a large bowl, beat the softened butter and sugar until creamed. Add the eggs, lemon juice and vanilla, mix well.

3. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and stir together. Stir into the butter mixture until just combined–you don’t want to over mix–it’s ok if there are a few lumps.

4. Finally, fold in the sour cream, walnuts and bananas. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.

5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool loaf in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Happy cooking! To check out any of the personalized kitchen gear above, please visit PersonalCreations.com. They have tons of personalized products for everyone in the family and they make the perfect gift for any occasion. LOVE, love, LOVE!

Comments

  1. Awesome idea and great advice!

  2. Thanks for the advice Piera! I had tried to get my son involved in cooking without much success. I guess I was trying to get everything measured to perfection, he was being left out and it stopped being fun for him. I’m going to try your tips!

    • Hi Corina,

      I totally understand – I do the same thing sometimes! That’s why I have to put myself in the right mindset when I cook with Lucas. It helps to set everything up beforehand. Have fun in the kitchen with your little one! – Piera