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Involve your kids in the kitchen

Cooking with kids 1

Involve your kids in the kitchen


The foundations of healthy eating habits start at home. How many times have you told your kids to eat their vegetables? Or say no to ridiculous requests like Cheesies for breakfast or a lollipop for dinner.

Luckily, my kids love their vegetables, but sometimes that’s all they want to eat for dinner and then they’re hungry an hour later because they didn’t have any protein or carbs. What I’ve discovered is that if I get the kids involved in the planning, prepping, and cooking stages, they are far more likely to eat dinner.

Weekly meal planning:

We have a white board in our kitchen with the days of the week listed. Every Saturday morning, I plan weekly meals and my shopping list accordingly. This is the perfect time to ask the kids what they would like for dinner during the week. Often spaghetti and chicken pot pie are the top recommendations, but occasionally they’ll ask to try something new. We have a large collection of cookbooks in the kitchen – some specifically written for kids – and they love to flip through them looking at the pictures. When they see something they like, they’ll ask if we can make it.


Having patience at the grocery store is easier said than done – especially if you’re shopping on the weekend or if you have one or two kids with you. I try to plan my shopping trips with only one kid, especially if I have a lot of running around to do. My six year old loves to write her own shopping list, so anything that she’s requested we make for dinner, she has the ingredients on her list and she helps find them.

Time to cook:

Sharp knives and hot stoves aside, there are so many things that kids can do in the kitchen to help make dinner. The first thing that my daughter made from start to finish was mashed potatoes. She peeled the potatoes, which took forever but she was dedicated. I chopped them for her and then she put them in the pot and added water. Once they were cooked, she added milk and sour cream and mashed them. She was incredibly excited to have made them and eat two helpings.

There’s always time for dessert:

Kids love to bake – probably because most kids have a sweet tooth. Sundays tend to be our baking days. Whether it be muffins for breakfast during the week or cookies for weekday lunches, I prefer to bake than buy. Baking is a great way to introduce kids to the kitchen. The first dessert that my kids made all by themselves was worms in dirt, otherwise known as chocolate pudding with crushed Oreo crumbs and gummy worms. They assembled the dessert and we’re incredibly proud when it was time to share them at the dinner table.