Photo by Kristy Severin
Encouraging children to help prepare meals in the kitchen is a wonderful way to introduce the simple pleasures of life. By taking the time to prepare meals with children, they are learning to work with their hands, about food preparation and planning, working with others, as well as developing an appreciation for the food we eat every day. To help encourage your child or a child you know, start by having children help out with the meal planning—from deciding what to eat, making a grocery list, helping out at the grocery store and unpacking the groceries at home. Children may gain a sense of pride and independence if asked to help with these practical tasks that could help guide their future in a positive manner.
Most kitchen tools are kid friendly, such as mixing spoons, measuring cups, and bowls. For the not-so-kid-friendly kitchen tools, try these suggestions.
Kid-friendly cutting knives such as a Joie wavy slicer
A safe kitchen stool such as the Guidecraft kitchen helper stool
Kid-Friendly peeler such as the one from “How We Montessori”
To encourage even more independence, you may want to have an area in the kitchen designated solely for the child that contains items within reach such as plates, cups, silverware, snacks, napkins, and other practical, safe kitchenware.
Photo courtesy Three Oaks Blog
The idea of allowing children to serve themselves and/or help out with practical every day activities may seem overwhelming at first but children are generally intrigued by practical life skills and activities, and you may find them not only interested in helping, but that they will love helping and the chance to be independent. You may also enjoy having the extra helper and the time to bond with your child.
Kristy Severin is a mother of two, a certified art instructor, photographer, painter, writer and cook. She earned her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uganda, East Africa. Inspired daily by her children and love of the earth, Kristy’s fine art and writings are at The Art of Green Living.
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