How to Get Your Kids More Involved in the Kitchen

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Children should have some experience helping in the kitchen. An important benefit of their interaction is that they will usually eat at least some healthy food if they have helped to prepare it. Still, sometimes adults find it difficult to interest the kids in any sort of "work" that they consider "boring." An effective plan can pull the family together for fun, happy memories and bonding time.

- Planning Meals - Have the children (over the ages of three or four) help you plan healthful meals for the week, take them with you to supermarket for the newly planned menus, and let them help you put the food away when you return home. While planning, suggest dishes they could help prepare.

- Cooking Specials - Let children help cook one of their favourite foods and tell them that when people cook, they also clean the kitchen. When they first start out, they may just add the ingredients you measure for a mixture.

- Pile on the Praise - Be generous with praise and encouragement. Genuine smiles and encouraging words work wonders with children, and announce to others what the children do to be helpful in the kitchen.

- Challenge Them - As they improve, give them more responsibility. While you may not want them to use sharp knives or some of the major appliances, they can help organise cupboards, wash dishes, and assist with much of the cooking process.

- Give them Some Ownership - Purchase a couple of inexpensive homewares online, and designate them personally theirs. You could find things such as a blue handled serving spoon, a set of mixing bowls, a few kitchen towels and wiping cloths, or a broom and dustpan. These could be given as rewards for putting out their best efforts in the kitchen.

Many family cooks find it rewarding not only to welcome the kids in the kitchen, but also to encourage them to join in the fun. For extra, inexpensive items to give them to them to use in the kitchen, homewares online is a great source for ideas and supplies. Your kids will be ready for the next Junior Masterchef in no time!

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