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Great Ideas for Cooking with Kids

By Melissa Summers

I realized a few weeks ago my kids never help me cook. It’s not because they aren’t interested, it’s because I am anally retentive about them making a mess or ‘doing it wrong’ which is a really nice quality for a mother to have in case you were wondering.

Things you will hear me say while the kids are ‘helping’:
“Don’t put egg shells in the batter!”
“oh, whoa whoa whoa….careful with the flour!”
“Put the milk in slowly….slower…slow.”
“Here you can pour this in but I’m going to keep my hand on it while you do, which means you aren’t actually pouring.”
They help me for about 2 minutes and then move on. I can’t imagine why….Maybe tools will help me!

pretendsoup.jpgAsha at Parent Hacks opened the floor for discussion of everyone’s favorite children’s cookbooks. I had no idea there were so many, it’s almost like people like cooking. Weird. Asha is a fan of Mollie Katzen’s kids cookbooks, including Pretend Soup. Other mentions include The Children’s Quick and Easy Cookbook and the Rachel Ray ‘Cooking Rocks’ book.
lookandcook.jpgI think this Look and Cook Book  looks promising and adorable, maybe even simple enough to help me grow my cooking skills. The illustrations have a very WWII feel and the instructions give kids (and maybe adults) a good basic knowledge of the kitchen and cooking terms.

handstandkids.jpgThe Handstand Kids cookbook features kid cooks Izzy, Felix, Gabby, Marvin and Ari learning all about food. While learning to cook, kids learn about the culture and language of the place their recipes originated.

kidstools.jpgWilliams-Sonoma has a nice collection of children’s items, including sturdy aprons which can be personalized. I am fond of the bee style for obvious reasons but my little boy would consider the camoflauge dinosaur apron a ‘must have’. They’ve also got kid size tools (including a safety grater; my knuckles may need this item.)

applepeeler.jpgMaybe we can think of the kids as prep-chefs and outsource all the time consuming tasks to them.  The ultimate kid tool  is the apple peeler. Last year someone brought one of these to my son’s preschool class and entranced a room of fifteen 4-year-olds for hours. Apple pie anyone? It also peels potatoes, this is going to change my life.

bakery.jpgIf you’re not ready to share your real cooking with the kids, how about playing bakery? With real ingredients, decorations and signs Kiddley’s bakery idea is an excellent way to keep your OCD in check but your kids satisfied with ‘helping’ in the kitchen.

I’m turning over a new leaf and the kids are going to help me cook and I’m going to let them do it all by themselves. Okay, after we move. I can’t have flour on the floor for house showings!

Published May 17, 2007. Last updated August 29, 2018.
Melissa Summers
About the Author

Melissa Summers

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.


Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.

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