Simple Cooking Skills That Every Kid Can Master

William Dickey / Styling Rose Nguyen / Food Styling Pam Lolley
Gather everyone in the kitchen, and prepare a meal the whole family will love.

Gather everyone in the kitchen, and prepare a meal the whole family will love. It's a great opportunity to teach your children safe ways to handle food as well as how to whisk, stir, measure, and chop ingredients. This hands-on experience will enhance their appreciation and basic knowledge of different foods, good nutrition, and simple cooking skills. Plus, it's a fun way to spend time together and to encourage a lifetime of healthful eating.

Easy Recipes:


Fun and Safe Kitchen Skills
Children of all ages, from toddlers to teens, can help in the kitchen. Here are our recommendations for age-appropriate tasks.

  • Age 3: wash fruits and vegetables and stir ingredients in large, deep bowls
  • Age 4: open packages, squeeze citrus, measure and spoon out cookies, and tear lettuce
  • Ages 5-6: measure ingredients, set the table, and cut soft foods with a fork or table knife
  • Ages 7-8: help plan the meal, find ingredients in the pantry or spice rack, knead dough, and crack eggs
  • Ages 9-12: open cans, use small appliances, follow a recipe, and prepare a meal with few ingredients
  • Ages 13-16: prepare recipes with multiple ingredients


"Healthy & Light: Cook Smart With Kids" is from the June 2006 issue of Southern Living.

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