I have found that the more I let her help prepare foods, the more she is likely to enjoy them. From carrots to zucchini, squash to peppers, if she helps with it, she’ll try it—while the foods that are simply placed in front of her are just ignored. Try letting your kids help out in the kitchen if they are reluctant to try new foods; I bet they’ll be eating new things in no time! Here are a few ways in which they can help out:
- Peeling and chopping vegetables. Obviously, younger children won’t be able to use a sharp knife—but they could definitely help scrub and wash vegetables.
- Stirring. I have yet to meet a child who doesn’t enjoy stirring! From pasta to cookie batter, mashed veggies to simmering ones, there are plenty of things for kids to help stir. (I would keep them away from stirring around the actual stove until they’re older, however.)
- Measuring and pouring. This is my daughter’s absolute favorite activity. I let her measure water for every food that calls for it, and just this week she graduated to measuring butter. Dry ingredients that spill easily, like powdered sugar and flour, are good, too, but should be supervised to help support the kids as well as to prevent huge messes (rather than the small ones that will happen anyway!). It’s a learning process, so try not to get angry with spillage.
- Mixing. My daughter hates the blender, but many children would probably love to use such a kitchen “power tool.” Using an egg beater would surely be fun for lots of kids, too. Using a blender will give your kids experience and help them learn to make their own healthy smoothies while you’re at it.
- Cracking eggs. Many kids get a kick out of this, and it’s a skill that most people will need to master.