This week’s Tuesday Tip for Picky Eaters: Get your kids in the kitchen.
Today’s tip should be obvious, but I think it is important enough to say it out loud - get your kids in the kitchen. Allowing kids to help with meal preparation will spur their interest in food. It also is more likely they will eat the food they help to make. A recent Canadian study found that children who helped with cooking were more likely to enjoy fruits and vegetables.
|Henry loves playing in the kitchen.|
Yes, there are downsides. Having children in the kitchen is likely to mean that it takes a little longer to get dinner ready. There will be more messes to cleanup. But if you really want your kids to eat what’s on the table, involving them in food preparation is the ideal place to start. Making a meal together helps them learn to love cooking, create fun family memories, and develop a sense of ownership in the food they help to prepare.
There are lots of things your kids can do in the kitchen: measuring ingredients, scrubbing vegetables, pouring batter into a pan, and stirring a pot. Following the directions in a recipe also gives children an opportunity to practice a variety of math and reading skills. Even Henry loves to hang out in the kitchen while I am making dinner. He plays with rubber spatulas and plastic spoons. We have fun smiling at each other and singing along with the radio.
|Henry plays on the kitchen floor while I make dinner.|
For more ideas on how your kids can help in the kitchen, I feature age-appropriate cooking activities each Friday when I post a new recipe.