Engage your child in the kitchen
Created by Greshma Momaya Updated on Jul 27, 2017
In India I often see that children are kept away from the kitchen till they are 8 or 9 years old. Parents serve them food in their plate, making most of the childrendependent on their parents for every small task. Involving your children in the cooking process can help them understand and love healthy food. It helps children overcome fussy eating habits, as the experience of creating meals with you can help build their self-confidence and lay the foundation for healthy eating habits. Cooking can help young children learn and practice some basic math concepts and develop language skills.
Here I will provide you with simple, age wise activities you can do with your child of any age
Birth to 18 months
At this stage children are keen observers hence the best way to involve your child in cooking is by allowing them to observe you while you are working in the kitchen. Set up a small and safe area in the kitchen for your child to play. It can be on the floor with a mat or a high chair. Give them some safe kitchen implements to play with. For example–a spatula, measuring cups, wooden spoons etc. You can show them different equipment which we use in kitchen, but are not safe for them. This will also help build their vocabulary. Involve them in what you are cooking, especially when you arepreparing meals for your child, let them smell and touch the ingredients. For e.g.: If you are making rice let them touch the raw rice. This will help them build their interest towards food and cooking.
18 months to 3 years
By this age, children’s fine motor and gross motor skills start developing and they are ready to help you in simple tasks like–
- Filling water in the jug
- Pouring water in a glass
- Rinsing fruits and vegetables with water and wiping them dry
- Plucking curry or coriander leaves from the stem and cleaning them. Tearing other greens into pieces like mint, methi, salad leaves, etc.
- Stirring the batter
- Mashing boiled vegetables
Please help them by giving clear and simple instructions and supervise them patiently, and they will be so enthusiastic about helping you.In my next blog I will introduce some activities for children who are 4 years old and above. Please try this with your child and let me know your experiences.
Did you find Greshma’s blog on engaging your child in the kitchenuseful? How do you help your child develop understanding and appreciation towards cooking and healthy food? Do leave your comments…. We love hearing from you!
| Jul 29, 2017
Hello Such a beautiful blog , infact I would like you put in that you could get some fenugreek ( methi ) seeds , plant it , as it grows ,watch the excitement the child shows , harvest , wash , cut , cook and eat. It's a marvelous journey which you have with the child because they really enjoy the process and the end result is a memory which stays in their mind for a long long time.