I haven’t met a child yet that doesn’t get excited about helping in the kitchen. From an early age, children can begin to assist you in the kitchen, with age appropriate tasks. Cooking with your children can benefit them in so many ways. They can learn valuable lessons about nutrition, measuring, following instructions and how to safely navigate in the kitchen. At the end of the day, you are creating wonderful memories for you and your children through your time with them in the kitchen.
There are a number of great cookbooks designed for children, including Kitchen for Kids by Jennifer Low. This cookbook contains 100 recipes that are especially designed to allow children to work safely in the kitchen. Recipes include: healthful breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas, as well as recipes for desserts, beverages and breads. Kids Cooking: A Very Slightly Messy Manual by Klutz also has a number of recipes that are designed to introduce children into the art of cooking in a fun way.
Throughout the country there are countless cooking schools that are sprouting up that are designed for the young chef in your family. Many retailers have taken note of this trend and now offer culinary wear and specialized kitchen equipment designed for kids. Whether or not you want to take advantage of some of these formalized resources, consider allowing your child to spend some time with you in the kitchen. My eleven year old daughter has evolved into my “sous chef” and we have spent some wonderful afternoons in the kitchen cooking and baking. The excitement and sense of accomplishment that she displays after baking a cake or batch of cookies on her own (with my oversight) is priceless.