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Get kids used to helping in your kitchen

It's extremely important to encourage both girls and boys to help in the kitchen from a young age.   Reasons?

  • It gives them a sense of family responsibility,
  • It's a time when they will talk to you more freely about what's going on in their lives, while their hands are busy with other things,
  • It will help them become more independent,
  • They will be learning a vital living skill,
  • They will learn to enjoy foods if they help prepare them,
  • It's a good way to teach them about nutrition and good eating habits.

You can probably think of more reasons.  

Start them young with simple, fun tasks.   Let them do messy things, decorate and be artistic, begin their own recipe file of things they like to make and eat.  To help them get started you may wish to invest in a sturdy stool to raise them to a safe level when small, and buy them a pretty recipe box after they learn to read.

It's true the kitchen is a dangerous place.  That's all the more reason to have them help, so you can teach them the dangers as well as the joys.

To help children of reading age learn their way around the kitchen, you might like to check out the useful guidelines published at AllRecipes.

One thing the guidelines don't mention is sanitation regarding food.  Kids love to help with messy things that involve eggs or gooey items like meat loaf.  Explain about germs in uncooked eggs, poultry, meat and other foods that can make them sick if tasted while raw.  Make sure they understand:  no tasting of uncooked food like cookie or cake dough,  don't touch other things in the kitchen, including themselves, until they finish and wash their hands and nails thoroughly.  Teach them to dispose of dishes and utensils promptly in the sink or dishwasher, and last, help them learn to cook dishes with eggs, meat or poultry all the way through.  Be sure to compliment them when they follow these safety rules.

Here's a recipe easy enough for most small children,  that's fun to make, delicious and highly nutritious:   Three-Cheese Manicotti with Spinach.

Make your kitchen a fun family place and a learning center.

The Sneaky Kitchen
Web Site by Bess W. Metcalf   Copyrightę April 1999 - 201

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