Kids are definitely cooking capable.
Let your kids cook! I propped mine up on a step stool at age 3, and he's still the best egg cracker I know. As a culinary arts educator for elementary-middle school students, the biggest complaints I hear from children are ..."My parents won't let me cook, they tell me to get out of the kitchen, they don't trust me to cook, or they say I'm not old enough." Kids are definitely cooking capable, but you have to allow them a chance to stir things up. All I'm saying is...give kids a chance.
Your kid is ready to cook, but are you?
We live in an age when pizza gets to your home before the police. ~Jeff Mander
Tackle the tools
You can use kitchen tools on hand, shop online, or hit a good discount store. In my experience, having a few tools designated for your budding chef makes all the difference in attitude and success in the kitchen. Here are some of my tried and true kitchen tools for kids:
I'm a HUGE advocate of a good old, page-turning cookbooks for children of all ages. Kids like to be independent in the kitchen. Here are a few of my favorites encouraging reading skills, culinary curiosity, as well as meal planning:
Make a cooking plan of attack!
Make a grocery list and have the kids write down the ingredients they need for their dish. Scavenger hunt your refrigerator and pantry to make sure you don't double up on ingredients you may already have. There are some great apps and FREE online menu/grocery planners you
can use. My favorite, a pen and a notebook (old school).
Get to cooking!
Take a deep breath, don an apron and get yourself, the rug rats, and big kids in the kitchen. Ease on into it. Commit to two meals a week, and once you and your kitchen crew gain confidence, add another day. Before you know it, you'll be whipping up meals four to five days a week. Leave one or two days for field trips to new neighborhood restaurants or leftover night. Embarking on a culinary family adventure will set your kids up for a healthy lifestyle for years to come.