Kids have natural curiosity, so why not bring them into a space that offers so many valuable lessons as early as possible. At this age high adult supervision is required and it is important that the mini foodies understand the kitchen rules set out in our first blog, and why they are so important.
Every mini foodie is different and while we try to outline skills by ages, you will need to use a bit of your own judgement when it comes to what you teach them and at what age.
As we mentioned in our first blog, cooking and teaching with patience is key and don’t overload them all at once, one skill per week is perfect.
Our under 3’s are not ready to “cook” but this doesn’t mean they can’t help out in the kitchen. Make sure they have a sturdy stool so they can also reach the counter top to see everything you are doing. Make sure this is in a safe space within the kitchen away from the stove and any sharp tools.
This is a great opportunity to capitalise on their curiosity, get them a big bowl of water and ask them to rinse or wash your fresh produce. If you are making a dressing let them stir or mix as you add the ingredients. Again this is a chance to spike their curiosity and get them inquisitive about all the ingredients as they go. Allow the little ones to taste, touch and smell, teach them the names and ask questions about the colours, “what it feels like?” and how it tastes? Take advantage of the learning opportunity, who knows you may even end up with less fussy eating at the end of the process.
This is how our mini foodies can get involved in the kitchen –
- Squeezing lemons
- Using the salad spinner
- Tear lettuce for salads
- Picking the leaves off fresh herb stems
- Wash fruits and vegetables
- Gentle stirring ingredients, they should be at room temperature
- Mix ingredients like easy-to-mix batters
- Brush or “paint” cooking oil with a clean pastry brush on bread, asparagus or other foods
- Cut cookies with fun shaped cookie cutters
- Sprinkling flour, cake decorations and icing sugar
- Mashing potatoes
- Setting the table
- Learning to match the silverware as you pack the clean dishes away
- Wipe up table tops
If it is not a learning day and you really just need to get things done in the kitchen and keep the little one occupied, grab a big plastic bowl, fill it with water and give them plastic tools and non-sharp objects to wash for you. This could get messy so keep a towel close by, but it can keep them entertained, while you get on with cooking. Remember the goal is to encourage our kids to spend time in the kitchen with us and make it as enjoyable as possible.
Try out our “crispy honey and peanut butter treats” recipe with your under 3’s. This simple yet delicious recipe is a great first-time recipe for our mini foodies.