Kids & Kitchen Independence

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I have really one simple rule when it comes to my household: the youngest person capable of doing something is the one in charge of doing it.  The rule applies to basically anything: throwing things away, cleaning up, and preparing things in the kitchen.  My daughter is just over 4 years old and is really capable of being a big help. The less time I spend in the kitchen by myself means more time with my kids. On top of that, having your kids in the kitchen is quality time and great fun in itself.  Engaging my daughter — an extremely picky eater — in the kitchen has also led to her slowly trying a ton of new foods. She ate a tortilla last week.

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Let me say that again – SHE ATE A TORTILLA!!  No, she’s not picky about weird stuff, she’s picky about anything under the sun. You name it, at one time or another, she’s refused to eat it.

The PBJ she’s making? refused to eat.

The pudding she made and is spooning into cups? refused to eat.

The eggs? Well, thankfully that girl has never looked sideways at an egg (unless it’s a hardboiled yolk, we are just not going there people).

You do have to have the right tools to get the kids in the kitchen if you want them to do anything of consequence. The eggbeater and our nylon knives have really helped in that regard. We use the OXO Good Grips Egg Beater and the Curious Chef Nylon Knife Set but really anything similar will do. The point is to get those kids in the kitchen just doing something that actually helps. Or at least doesn’t take longer to clean up than it takes to accomplish!.  My two year old can’t help a lot yet, but he helps throw away kitchen trash. He has recently started showing a lot of interest in the egg beater, but he turns it upside down to play with it. So he’s not on pudding duty quite yet.

Again, the youngest person that’s capable is in charge of doing it. Not sure where I picked this up originally, but it is a total life saver.

Do your kids help in the kitchen? How old are they and what are they in charge of?

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