How early to let child help you cook in the kitchen?

Discussion in 'Baking with Children' started by Mayvin, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. Mayvin

    Josie Well-Known Member

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    I can't even remember now! lol. I probably had them "helping" as soon as they were able to hold a spoon and make a mess. Baking has always been a bonding experience in my family; from my grandmother, to me and hopefully my boys will share the love of baking with their children and on. It doesn't even have to be productive baking at first.. there were quite a few times we just ended up playing in the batter lol..
     
    Josie, Nov 6, 2013
    #21
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  2. Mayvin

    Preya_M Well-Known Member

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    I would say age 4. By that time they should develop an understanding of what is right and wrong, so holding the knife is a no no until they're a little older. I'd let them do simple things like adding the ingredients, stirring and spooning things out. Decorating the food is another way to let them help and I plan on playing with the veggies when I have children because they'll see how "fun" they are and hopefully eat them without a fuss. :D
     
    Preya_M, Nov 6, 2013
    #22
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  3. Mayvin

    NThomas Well-Known Member

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    I would says it is never to early to get to a child involved in cooking. Once they are old enough to stand and follow simple instructions. They can help out in the kitchen. The trick is finding age appropriates task to give a little one. These task can be as simple as washing veggies, to as complicated as pouring and stirring for really young children.
     
    NThomas, Nov 6, 2013
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  4. Mayvin

    kierakelly Member

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    My son is in there with me now at just under 18 months. I let him help me put veggies in the pot and stand on a chair to watch (until he gets too crazy). I also let him help me throw onion peels and other things away. A fun activity we have is going through the spices; I let him smell each one. He loves it!
     
    kierakelly, Nov 25, 2013
    #24
  5. Mayvin

    MyPaperBleedsInk Active Member

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    Don't have kids, but I believe I was allowed to help out around the age of 4. Or at least they led me to believe I was helping. My mom would make extra pie crust dough and give me the extra so I could make my own mini pie. Usually this just consisted of me rolling it out with a rolling pin then eventually giving up and letting her finish it.

    At that age you could let them do the little things... give them a cup of flour and ask them if they can dump it in the bowl for you. Have them search for ingredients in the kitchen while giving them little hints. Let them be the "official taste tester".

    Then gradually over time you can let them do a little more complicated things like mixing or measuring out the amounts themselves, putting it into the oven, etc.
     
    MyPaperBleedsInk, Nov 25, 2013
    #25
  6. Mayvin

    charahome Well-Known Member

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    All of my kids are grown now. They all love to cook and bake. I involved them as soon as they showed an interest. My youngest was only two. I would let her "help" pour ingredients and hold the mixer along with my help.
     
    charahome, Nov 26, 2013
    #26
  7. Mayvin

    surething01 New Member

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    My daughter just turned four and she loves helping me out in the kitchen. If I am working with dough, I will often break off a piece for her to play with and she will try to mimic what I am doing. I'm a little nervous about letting her get near the stove, but on Thanksgiving I let her stand of a step stool to stir the gravy and she was SO proud that she helped with it. I think it is great that a child wants to help/learn what mom or dad is doing in the kitchen, they should know what goes into making the food they eat.
     
    surething01, Nov 30, 2013
    #27
  8. Mayvin

    1inamillion Member

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    I think a child can help in the kitchen as early as four years old. They could put things away, place things in the bin, sweep the floor and even carry things from the refrigerator. But the stove would be off limit until they become teenagers.
     
    1inamillion, Dec 20, 2013
    #28
  9. Mayvin

    shaybearlv Member

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    My kids always started helping me around age three or four. I would give them little tasks like stirring or throwing away an empty bag. I enjoy baking with my kids and I am happy that they love helping me. My oldest daughter who is eight will read the recipes to me and I am now teaching her how to measure things for those recipes. The last time we made cookies, she did everything except putting them in the oven and taking them out. I was such a proud mommy. :D
     
    shaybearlv, Dec 23, 2013
    #29
  10. Mayvin

    dorannmwin Well-Known Member

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    Both of my children were actually about two years old when I started letting them help me out some in the kitchen. At that point in time all that they were allowed to do was to pour ingredients into the bowls and such, but it did make them feel important and spark their interest in cooking.

    My daughter is now 11 and can make several basic dishes on her own and my son is seven and is following in his sister's footsteps when it comes to skills in the kitchen.
     
    dorannmwin, Dec 31, 2013
    #30
  11. Mayvin

    Lacey Well-Known Member

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    I had my daughter in the kitchen with me while I baked since she was little. As she got bigger, I let her do things that made her feel like she was helping even if she was in her high chair. She now at 7 loves to help me bake and she bakes her own things sometimes too.
     
    Lacey, Dec 31, 2013
    #31
  12. Mayvin

    LindaKay Well-Known Member

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    I think they can help from a very young age if you choose age-appropriate activities. For really little ones, simply handing you ingredients and such is a good start. Helping by stirring is another good idea.

    As they get a little older, they can learn how to measure, etc.
     
    LindaKay, Jan 25, 2014
    #32
  13. Mayvin

    Tracky Active Member

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    All 3 of my children were about 2 when they wanted to "help" in the kitchen-they all loved making the cake mixture and of course licking the bowl,and they cant mess up mixing-just themselves,the walls,units...lol.My youngest is 5 now and is never out of the kitchen when im cooking anything,and my 22 yr old daughter has a passion for cooking-her cakes are much better than my own! You know your own child and their concentration levels,but if they can eat what they have made youre on a winner,lol.
     
    Tracky, Feb 3, 2014
    #33
  14. Mayvin

    pot_star Member

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    As early as the child wants to join you in baking, let him be. Just make sure to put away equipments that may harm them. The earlier the child starts, the earlier their potentials can mold into talents.
     
    pot_star, Jun 6, 2014
    #34
  15. Mayvin

    LetThemEatCake Well-Known Member

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    My little nieces were around 4 years old when they started helping me and their mom in the kitchen, and that's around the same age me and my sister were when we started helping my mom, too. The most important thing is to teach them kitchen safety at an early age!
     
    LetThemEatCake, Jun 10, 2014
    #35
  16. Mayvin

    TheStoryteller1 Well-Known Member

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    That was the time I started helping my mom too, and I was a lot more excited about it than I was about any such thing later. But some of my really nice memories are from then, I think it's a really great thing to do! Children are so excited and open to things.
     
    TheStoryteller1, Jun 11, 2014
    #36
  17. Mayvin

    BluePeach Member

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    My son is 8 and he is now showing interest in helping me in the kitchen so I think this is really a good time to start teaching him some things. I do wish I introduced the kitchen a little earlier to him but I think now is really good time because he can understand my directions better.
     
    BluePeach, Jun 17, 2014
    #37
  18. Mayvin

    aas1277 Member

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    My daughters are now 5 and 7 years old and they help me all the time. They take turn putting the ingredients in the bowl after I measure them and then they will each stir the mixture. When its time to use beaters or my Kitchenaid then I take over. I started letting them "help" me by 18 months. I have pictures of my older daughter at about 18 months helping me make Irish Soda Bread for St. Patty's day. When they were that young I would measure out ingredients and help them pour the ingredients into the bowl. Then I would mix and finish up. A good idea is also to give them their own bowl and some measuring cups or spoons to play with. I used to give my girls their own bowl with some flower and water so they could mix up some pretend batter while I was preparing something else.
     
    aas1277, Jul 3, 2014
    #38
  19. Mayvin

    kammy Well-Known Member

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    My daughter has being in the kitchen with me from she is three years old and we've never had a major disaster. I think as soon as a child understand the do's and the dont's of the kitchen they will do just fine.
     
    kammy, Jul 18, 2014
    #39
  20. Mayvin

    Livvy Well-Known Member

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    Well, turns out that my niece has just made her own cinnamon rolls with her older brother, who is seven. She's only two or three. I know I should know her age, but I'm horrible with it. Their mother had no part to play in the baking, she was just there to supervise the oven, and put them in obviously.
     
    Livvy, Jul 18, 2014
    #40
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