Wednesday, August 15, 2012

10 Ways Your Kids Can Help You in the Kitchen

I enjoy cooking (well most of the time).  I enjoy spending time with my children.  However, I found that combining the two is sometimes a little difficult.  As a mom you just want to get dinner done and done quick. You don't want to find egg shells in your pancakes or notice the 3 year old eating half of you cake batter before you get it in the over.  Perhaps you have had the experience of a whole dish dropped on the floor or more milk poured on the counter than in the actual bowl.  Now I am sure you know where this is going since the post is titled "10 Ways Your Kids Can Help You in the Kitchen."  Well in the scheme of things all those little accidents and the extra time it takes you to prepare your dish is really worth it.  Why you may ask?  First you are teaching your kids that they are valuable and contributing members of your household.  You are showing them they are needed.  You are teaching them that you enjoy spending time with them.  You are instilling in them responsibility and teamwork.  Furthermore, the homeschool lessons found in the kitchen are not hard to come by.  Measuring, coordination skills for the little ones, following directions, reading, the list goes on.  Finally, as the children grow up it will pay off big.  My daughter is 8 years old and she already knows how to do just about everything I do in the kitchen.  She cleans chicken, she bakes biscuits, she browns ground beef, really the list goes on.  As they get older they actually help more than slow you down.  The time put in when they are younger really pays off.

My 3 year old scrambling eggs for breakfast
So here it is 10 ways your kids can help you in the kitchen:

My 5  year old using the salad spinner
  1. Washing vegetables - The kids love to use our salad spinner.  Also, washing carrots, celery, any produce is an easy job for kids.
  2. Mixing - Kids like to mix just about anything.  Older kids can use a hand mixer when baking cakes, making icing, etc...  Younger kids just like to mix things with a spoon.
  3. Measuring - Teaching your kids kitchen measurements is a fun way to incorporate math into the kitchen.  Even you youngest child can identify the 1 cup mark on a measuring cup.  Older children can get a quick fraction lesson in the kitchen.
  4. Cutting / Dividing - When you are bulk cooking you can use the opportunity to introduce fractions again.  Divide your dish into halves, quarters, thirds, you name it and teach your children about serving sizes.
  5. Washing Dishes - I know what you are thinking.  Who wants to wash dishes anyway.  Well younger kids LOVE to wash dishes and play in soapy water.  My two youngest kids will fight at the chance to be the one to wash dishes.  I love it too because that's one less thing I have to do.  Who cares if the counter gets a little soaked in the process.
  6. Setting the table - This is a huge help during mealtime.  When the kids set the table you can concentrate on getting the final details of dinner in place.
  7. Cleaning Meat - For older kids this is just a life skill.  Understanding kitchen safety and cleanliness is very important.  My 8 year old is very aware of how to clean meat as well as how to not contaminate other surfaces while she is cleaning.  
  8. Stirring on the Stove - You may feel this is dangerous but under supervision it is a time saver.  All three of my children stir fry vegetables, scramble eggs, stir sauces, you name it on the stove.  This frees me up to chop vegetables or do other duties that they just are not ready for.
  9. Use kitchen appliances - Kids enjoy using blenders, choppers, and food processors.  Be careful with younger ones because the blades are very sharp.  Typically I will allow the younger ones to add ingredients from the top and not reach their hands in.   
  10. Clean-up - I saved the best for last.  After you are all stuffed after dinner who wants to face a dirty kitchen all alone.  Every kid has a job.  My oldest makes sure the counters are clear and clean.  My middle cleans the kitchen table, and my youngest moves all the chairs away for sweeping.  It is really a time saver.
My 8 year old cleaning chicken breast
What are ways that you kids help you?  I would love to hear about it.

Blessing . . . 


  1. your children are beautiful!! it is easy to see how happy they are that they help...
    I love your tips, and agree completely. My kids all grew up doing chores...and when they got to high school and college they could do so much more than their peers..just from helping with chores!!

  2. Wish my kids were still around to help out.
    I'm moving my following status to this blog from the other one.

  3. Just checking back to see if you have posted something new.
    I would like to invite you to follow my blog as well.


I appreciate your comments. Please when commenting do not use my children's full names. Thanks!