Let Them Into the Kitchen
I recently made eggplant parmesan for dinner. (Recipe forthcoming). I had Scott and Johnathan (Jeb) in the kitchen with me, as is typically the norm. Jeb was on his chair watching me cook.
While I was contending with something on the stove, Scott decided to help.
I turned around and there he was, sending eggplant through the assembly line process.
Dip it in flour.
Dip it in egg.
Dip it in breadcrumbs.
I was so proud of him. He did everything in the proper order and did it perfectly.
While I was snapping pictures, Jeb decided to join in on the fun.
Don’t be afraid to let your younger children help you in the kitchen. They are capable of doing so much more than a lot of us parents give them credit for.
Start them at 3 (like Jeb) and they will become comfortable in the kitchen, and in a decade or so, they won’t be afraid to pull out your old 1950 Betty Crocker, find a cake recipe, and go to town making cupcakes.
Gregg and I came home last night and found these.
Kaylee had seen a picture on Tumblr or Pinterest and decided she wanted to make them. At 15, my daughter loves to cook, loves to bake, and isn’t afraid to experiment.
Let your kids into the kitchen. Don’t send them off to play or distract them with a show. Hand them a chore and let them go to town.
Dinner prep takes a little longer. Cleanup often takes longer. But the end result is worth it.
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I am really working on this. I wasn’t allowed in the kitchen much growing up, so I’m having to teach myself to be different.
Whenever I get my Kitchen Aid going, my kids are RIGHT THERE on a chair seeing what I’m doing. Some days, they are stuck like glue to me in the kitchen and other’s they really don’t care… but I love cooking with them. It’s great science and math for them too!
Absolutely right. I wish I had done more of that.
My 2-1/2 year old granddaughter is helping me now. She’s here a couple days a week while I’m fixing dinner. I get out a wooden chair with arms and push that up to the cabinet for her. Sometimes she helps stir; sometimes I give her salad stuff so she can make her own; sometimes she just plays with a measuring cup filled with water. But mostly she likes snacking on the butterscotch chips in the drawer. Kind of wish I hadn’t started that part.
Thanks for the encouragement. I find that with my time extremely limited each evening I barely have time to make a healthy meal that isn’t mac n cheese let alone let the children help and make the clean up ten times worse. Oh, I wish we could go back to the good old days when times were slow! I love the article you wrote about women’s roles in society. I was quite taken back by all the negative “women’s lib” comments. I would give anything to go back to a time where my sole purpose was to cook, clean, raise kids, and keep the home. It surprises me and confuses me that all women don’t have this desire!
You’re a good mom.
Earlier this week, I actually thought about letting my kids (7 and 4) help more. Especially since my 4 yr old daughter is a very picky eater; might help her to eat better to be more involved in the prep.
People say that helps with getting them to eat. That hasn’t necessarily been my experience. My 5-year-old either eats or not — it doesn’t seem to matter when he helps.
First, I need to say… I *LOVE* eggplant parmesan.
Next, I agree that having them cook it (or grow it) doesn’t necessarily encourage them to eat it… but helping is great anyway. :)
My youngest son has recently begun helping me in the kitchen, and I have to say that I love having him in there with me, and he has great fun cooking. Sometimes it’s messier, but the memories are worth it.