5 Things You Should Be Doing When Cooking with Kids

Under the watchful eye of a parent, the kitchen can be a fascinating world for children to explore. New smells, tastes and sounds come together to create a unique hands-on learning environment right in your own home.


As you begin to involve your kids in food preparation more often, we suggest keeping these 5 things in mind:

1. Do It When You Have Time

Your child will get a lot more out of the experience if you’re not on a tight schedule. We all know the wispy attention span that our children can have, so take some time to prep things beforehand. This minimizes their chance of quickly losing interest and allows you to give them your full attention.

2. Establish Kitchen Rules

As with anything new your children do, it’s good to have some rules around the kitchen to ensure their safety. Discuss with them the importance of hand washing and outline what things in the kitchen are off-limits. If they’re younger, it’s helpful to get down on their level and look around to see everything they have access to, so that you can take the proper preventive measures.

3. Do It Together

Monkey see, monkey do. Instead of working on different parts of a recipe at the same time, go through the whole process as a team. If you want to crumble up some cookies for a dessert you’re making, split the amount in half and involve them in the process. Make a couple of mini pizzas and let them sauce and cheese their own, or tag team the ice cream sundaes at a family get-together. Make it a collaborative process.

4. Inspire Curiosity

Make them eager to learn. Try laying out all sorts of kitchen tools on the table. Ask them if they know what they’re used for, then provide them with an activity to practice how they’re used. Things like whisks or funnels are perfect for this. You can also show them some real life examples of science at work like mixing oil and water or by doing the milk, food coloring and drop of soap experiment.

5. Have Fun

Put on some music, wipe peanut butter on their nose and get messy. Let them decorate their own apron or wear a chef hat. Even doing something as simple as turning their meals into food art can help even the pickiest eaters change their minds (see some examples on our Pinterest board for kids). Learning should be fun, and you can make it happen!

As parents, we understand that sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason to why kids like or dislike certain foods. An important tip: take what they like and get creative with it. We always try to consider this when coming up with the recipes for our Omaha Steaks products, and as a result, we’ve adapted a number of traditional, kid-friendly foods into products like Gourmet Franks in Blanket, Italian Chicken Fingers and Mac and Cheese Lasagna.

Time spent in the kitchen will foster math, reading and creative thinking skills. Kids will get firsthand lessons in trial and error and following instructions. Make it an enjoyable experience, and you’ll be amazed at the foods that begin to grow on them!

Please visit the author of this post, Omaha Steaks*, by clicking on their name. You will be redirected to their website. They have some fantastic deals on high quality steak, seafood, and much much more. You won’t be disappointed!

*This post was brought to you from Omaha Steaks as client-sponsored content, and DadsRT was paid to publish this article. DadsRT and it’s personnel are not responsible for any damages caused by acting on this post in any way. Please enjoy Omaha Steaks with the same care that you would any other food product. Visit their website for details on ingredients and processing.

Photo credit: Mitchio / Foter.com / CC BY-NC


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