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4 Moms Cook With Kids

This week, The 4 Moms are discussing cooking with kids.

I am for it. I'm a believer. A "kids in the kitchen" type.

The thing is, if you are going to cook with kids, you have to give up any expectations of perfection, because in case you haven't noticed it before now, kids are messy. And inaccurate. And they like to lick things.

But once you get over the need for neatness and anything getting done in a timely manner, you will be giving something to your children that no one else can give.

Good times with Mommy.

You might have to give extra concentration to the "good" portion above, because it may be a stretch for you, depending on your tolerance for the messes I mentioned.

Just remember that THEY will remember. They may not recall what you made together or how to measure liquid ingredients, but, mark my words, years from now they will remember the time they spent in the kitchen with you.

Keep these things in mind when cooking with children:

  • Keep it simple. Give them tasks they won't struggle with.
  • Schedule plenty of time. Children don't work quickly.
  • Smile!┬áRemind them┬áthat you enjoy their help.
  • Praise their efforts. Let them know what they are doing well.
  • Don't fuss about the spills. Oh, there WILL be spills. Let them wipe it up and move on.
  • Remind the family to thank the child when eating the fruits of their labor.
  • Watch the child beam at the thanks and tell them you appreciate their help!

Now, be sure to visit the rest of The 4 Moms team to see what they say about cooking with kids!

Would you like to see more cooking tips from The 4 Moms?

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  1. I really struggle with the messes and the spilling. I am trying to follow my husbands example and let them help even.though.it.makes.me.INSANE. With a smile.

  2. I was just posting this week about our oldest daughter who used to measure the flour so carefully but when she tried to dump it in the bowl she’d miss EVERY TIME. Agh! My patience was sorely tried. Thankfully she’s turned into a beautiful, capable 10 year old cook who I greatly treasure.

    Your tips are great, Connie – praise their efforts and keep it simple. Great reminder as I still have little ones who make enormous messes while being my hinder-helpers. :)

  3. Cooking with tots is something I have been working on. I don’t let them help all the time but I try to let them help at least once a week. It makes me crazy- waste and mess oh man it makes me crazy. But I think I hide it well. And it’s starting to make me less crazy. I must be getting used to it. Or the kids are getting less messy…
    But what really drives me nuts lately? How the TOYS that are in the toyroom in the basement seem to migrate all over the house when I’m not looking and then I find them with my bare feet at 2am in the dark inevitably. And I have a penchant for breaking my toes so this is not good at all. And this is after we have them try to keep the toys down there when playing and then go on a toy hunt and put away before bed. It’s like they have legs and walk out of the toy room on their own after we all go to bed. Somebody tell me Toy Story is not true! :p How do you corral your toys?

  4. Golly, you make me think I could do this and LIKE it!! I am a clean control freak like KimC.
    You have greatly encouraged me to see this through my kids’ eyes…not my own. Thanks!

  5. I’m trying very hard to get past my control-freak-ness and allow my children to help more in the kitchen. My mom never let me cook with her (well she did, until I accidentally put 1 Tbsp of Parlsey , instead of 1 tsp, in our Parsely Potatoes–I was promptly fired, and it wasn’t a pretty sight!) and I had to learn everything on my own at 18. I vowed never to do that same thing to my children. The kids LOVE helping, and it’s such a big deal to them. I love the look on their faces when you praise them for their awesome cooking skills. :)