Healthy Children - August 2011

Kids in the Kitchen

Children enjoy helping in the kitchen and often are more willing to eat foods they help prepare. Involve your child in planning and preparing some meals and snacks for the family.

It is important that you give kitchen tasks appropriate for your child’s age. Be patient as your child gains new skills at different ages.

Meal Preparation Activities for Children:

Children have to be shown and taught how to do these activities. Each child has his or her own pace for learning, so give it time and the skills will come.

When your child is helping you with food preparation, don’t forget cleanliness. Wash hands using soap and warm running water before and after handling food or utensils to prepare food.

Expect a few spills. It’s a small price to pay for helping your children become comfortable around food.

2-year-olds:
Wipe table tops
Snap green beans
Scrub vegetables
Wash salad greens
Tear lettuce or greens
Play with utensils
Break cauliflower
Bring ingredients from one place to another
3-year-olds
Can do what 2-year-olds do, plus...
Wrap potatoes in foil for baking
Shake liquids in covered container
Knead and shape yeast dough
Spread soft spreads
Pour liquids
Place things in trash
Mix ingredients
4-year-olds
Can do all that 2 and 3 years-olds do, plus...
Peel oranges or hard cooked eggs
Mash bananas using fork
Move hands to form round shape
Set table
Cut parsley or green onions with dull scissors
5 to 6-year-olds
Can do all that 2, 3, and 4-years-olds do, plus...
Measure ingredients
Use an egg beater
Cut with blunt knife