Like most four-year-olds LP is extremely proud of the things he can do all by himself. On Saturday, for the first time, he made our morning smoothie on his own. All I did was get the milk and juice out and pour them into cups so that he could easily pour them in the blender. He did a great job measuring out the fruit, flaxseeds, and liquids, and he was especially proud to drink his smoothie that morning. Later on he helped me by folding blueberries into pancake batter, chopping tofu for tofu scramble, and pulling frozen basil cubes out of the freezer.
Even though most of my posts in this series have been about improving speed and efficiency for weeknight meals, today I want discuss how to slow down and let your kids help out in the kitchen. It takes time, but pays off!
Having kids help in the kitchen does not make cooking faster or more efficient to start. But as LP has gotten older I’ve found that his “helping” not only is easier for me to handle, but is also starting to actually be helpful! Here are just a few things that LP does in the kitchen routinely:
- Chop tofu and tempeh (with a butter knife – he’s not ready for a steak knife yet)
- Measuring out dry ingredients
- Stirring almost anything (batter, dough, soup, etc.)
- Sprinkling spices
- Shaking bags of veggies to coat them with salt, pepper, and olive oil before roasting
- Tearing greens (like kale and collards)
It’s exciting to have LP helping so much in the kitchen now, and it definitely makes a difference in his eating habits. He is way more willing to try new things when he helped make them! We’ve already got IP started with helping out too. She loves to mix things (when she sees a bowl and spoon out she says, “stir bowl!!! Stir bowl!!!”)
She is also getting quite good at shaking bags of roasting veggies. Actually, she is just good a shaking things in general (like the box of Legos that now coat the playroom)