10 Best Tips for Cooking with Children

Kids need fun indoor activities to enjoy all winter. Why not invite them into the kitchen? Most children love to cook. It’s hands-on, it’s wonderfully messy, and there’s lots of room for creativity. And kids REALLY get into the reward of eating what they’ve made.


Teaching kids how to make fresh, delicious meals is also a great way to help them build basic life skills. Giving them a chance to see how grownups work in the kitchen feels like a privilege – and it can be an ideal time to offer simple lessons about food, healthy eating, shopping and meal planning.


Here are 10 practical tips for cooking with young ones.

  1. Take your time. Having the right mindset is crucial. You should expect everything to take longer than it normally would. Set aside lots of extra time, and remember: kids always find the journey even more fun than the destination.
  2. Expect a big mess. Cooks of all ages are used to spills and thrills in the kitchen. When kids are involved, there will be even more of them! Control the chaos by spreading a drop cloth on the floor or placing a tray under the kids’ workstation. Then just let the craziness happen, knowing that cleaning up later gives little ones even more chance to share in the adult tasks they see you doing each day.
  3. Plan ahead. Before your adventure begins, look over some recipes to see which are simple enough for small hands. Choose recipes with flavors and ingredients you think they will enjoy. Have all the ingredients and equipment close at hand. If the recipe involves quite a few steps, you can do some advance prep to simplify things. For example, you might grate the cheese or slice veggies ahead of time, then let them dump the prepped ingredients into bigger bowls for mixing.
  4. Get them ready. Put kids into comfy clothes they can get dirty. Put aprons on and tie back long hair.
  5. Discuss good food hygiene. Wash hands together before getting started. Talk about the need to wash again after handling raw meat and show them how to cleanse cutting boards and counters.
  6. Walk through the recipe. Older kids like to read out the steps before getting started, assembling the ingredients and talking about who will do what. With little ones, simply explain what you’re making and show pictures to help them understand how the recipe will come together.
  7. Look for learning opportunities. While you’re in the kitchen, talk about ingredients and where they come from. You can share a little bit about the techniques involved in making food, such as measuring, peeling, chopping and so on. Cooking can be a great way to learn about science, geography and math. It’s good for fine motor skills and coordination too.
  8. Enjoy touching and tasting. Kids learn through their senses. Cooking with them encourages them to try different flavors and textures. It’s also a good time to help them learn which foods can be eaten raw and which must be cooked in order to be eaten safely. Offer them a clean spoon for tasting – no fingers or stirring spoons (until the very end, of course, when licking the beaters or mixing utensils can be a special treat).
  9. Factor in age and ability. Recipes created for kids have age guidelines, but be sure to consider your own kids’ attention span and capabilities. Some children can spend hours in the kitchen, while others prefer to work in short bursts. Tailor activities for each child, even if it’s just messing around in the sink washing a bowl of carrots while older kids chop, mix and measure.
  10. Make it fun! Children will learn to love cooking if you relax with them in the kitchen. If you feel nervous, begin with very basic recipes. Let kids learn by making mistakes and starting over again if needed. Step in only when it’s absolutely necessary; otherwise, let them enjoy the creative process.



You’ve got enough to do, keeping the kids busy this holiday break. You definitely don’t need more time in the kitchen getting ready for all those party guests! Give yourself a much-needed break and call the catering pros at Jerry’s Kitchen.

Whether it’s a simple holiday party for friends and family or a big business bash, our award-winning food trucks will deliver everything you need. Prefer a more traditional menu? Need gluten-free and vegan options? We will create a classic catered meal with choices to please all your guests.

To book catering services for your holiday celebration near Doylestown or Greater Philadelphia, get in touch with us today.


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