Getting kids involved in the kitchen is a great summertime activity. Not only is it fun and family-friendly, it can boost children’s learning and self-esteem. When kids learn and succeed in the kitchen it gives them confidence to try new foods and to be creative. It also builds the habit of healthy eating at home.
Starting Kids Young
Involving children in meals will look different depending on their age. Parents and caretakers, please use your own judgement based on each child and always supervise! A great starting point is to expose children to ingredients and local shops/markets as early as they are able to participate.
When you feel ready to involve them in the kitchen, make sure to encourage their creativity. For young children, allowing them to touch and play with ingredients is the best way for them to learn. As they get older, they can add ingredients into bowls, mix ingredients with tools, and chop with a safety knife. Most children over 9 should be able to learn safety skills and how to use a sharp knife under supervision.
On Sunday June 21, Nashville Kids Cook kicks off a virtual, Sunday Summer Series for kids ages 9-11. These hands-on classes run Sunday afternoons in June and July. Space is limited, so please reserve the child’s spot for one or more of the programs. First up, make tacos and homemade salsa on June 21!
If you are not able to join our virtual cooking classes, you can find other ways to get kids in the kitchen. Make cooking a friendly competition such as a creative topping contest on pizza night or waffle breakfast. No matter what you do in the kitchen this summer, make it fun and tasty!
The USDA provides these helpful guides:
This is a guest post from Registered Dietitian Kristen Edmonson and Chef Anthony DeGeorge, co-founders of the non-profit Nashville Kids Cook. Their mission is to educate children on the importance of balanced eating through sustainable means. They are passionate about children learning basic cooking skills and nurturing their creativity through experimentation.