Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cooking for Kids of All Ages

Did you know that cooking with your kids is recommended by health experts and most cookbooks? Statistics show that the more kids are involved in cooking, the more healthy they will be and the better they will be prepared for healthy cooking throughout their lives.

Here are some age dependent tips on how your children can be involved in cooking healthy recipes in the kitchen.

Ages three to four.

Depending on how your child has developed, they can help by folding a napkin in half and placing it on the table with the silverware. This will also help teach them left and right by placing the knives and spoons on the right, and forks on the left.

Ages five to six.

Children in this age group are usually learning to read and write, so help them out! Show them how to make place holders for the table with your families names on them. They can also help with cleanup at this age. Teach them how to rinse the plates and put them in the dishwasher. You can use this as a method to also teach them about kitchen cleanup and food safety.

Ages seven to 10.

Letting your children help prepare meals is a key task for this age group. By letting them help with stirring batters or ingredients is a fun first lesson.

Also with this age group is another important life lesson of organization and following directions. Help them gather and organize the ingredients for their favorite meal or snack. Then help them follow the directions from a cookbook or the preparation steps necessary to cook the meal.

Ages 11 to 13.

This age group should be able to help set and clean the table by themselves, rinse and put the plates in the dishwasher by themselves.

Some other key tasks for this age group are using a vegetable peeler, a knife for cutting foods and the stove or oven. These are still recommended to be done with adult supervision, but you can use your judgement on your kids development. This is also a key age to really open up their minds to cookbooks and helping teach them healthy eating habits for life.

These cooking tips for kids of all ages are important in developing healthy eating habits for life. They will also teach them other important life skills and prepare them for adulthood. Using cookbooks and cooking tips are just one way to spend time with your children and make learning fun!

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