Get Kids in the Kitchen This Holiday

Old-Fashioned Christmas Butter Cookies

Image by Sifu Renka via Flickr

Are you saying, “but it takes too long to work with my kids in the kitchen”, or “it’s too messy when they help me”? In her book, Cooking Around the Calendar with Kids: Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun, Amy Houts says that with a little planning and imagination, you can make holiday baking stress-free and enjoyable. The part children will remember is that they were able to “help” you in the kitchen.

Some points to remember when working with children:

  • Read through the recipe completely from top to bottom. Talk about the recipe. Explain what you will do and what the child will do. Know what needs to be done first, second, and so on.
  • Emphasize hand washing. Be a role model for your child. Practice food safety.
  • Collect all of the ingredients and tools that you need before you begin.
  • Measure everything carefully.
  • Clean up as you go.

Using this strategy, will help make cookie baking or any food work much more pleasant and enjoyable.

To your cooking enjoyment,

Lee Jackson, food writer

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  1. Sue Lambright says:

    At the beginning of the school year, I spoke with my daughter about how kids who are mainstreamed when they have developmental issues are not being taught life skills they will need when they are on their own. My grandson is in the autism spectrum. I decided to start a cooking class, for him and three others in the neighborhood, who are all sixth graders and all have developmental issues. One has Downes syndrome. We meet for 2-3 hours on Saturday and we have made our own pasta, hot pretzels, Halloween treats, meals and for the last two weeks, breakfast. Each one has given a demonstration and all of them have a great time. It is not difficult to work with kids in the kitchen. The love it. I even taught my daughter’s daycare how to make pasta. These things make memories.

    • Thank you for sharing such an inspiring story about helping kids learn basic skills and seeing them enjoy what they do! You are doing a real service to teach kids about food and how to prepare it – something everyone needs to know, no matter their developmental level. I hope everyone sees this on my blog so they know cooking with kids doesn’t have to be difficult, but there are some basic skills anyone can learn. This is very uplifting to hear of success stories such as this, and I am honored you shared this on the blog and with my readers. You have helped create many memories with the children, which is priceless.

      With appreciation and best wishes,

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