Cooking with Kids



  1. Go Slowly: With kids, expect cooking to take longer than it would take you alone. For young children, the experience is as important as the end result.
  2. Embrace The Mess: Cooking with kids is messy. Lay a vinyl tablecloth or shower curtain on the floor beneath where you’re working and have fun.
  3. Choose Wisely: Pick a recipe the kids like, with age-appropriate steps. Make sure you have everything ready and handy ahead of time.
  4. Don’t Starve: If you’re cooking your evening meal with kids, try to do some prep before they join you. This will help you get dinner on the table sooner.
  5. Nothing Fancy: Put the kids washable or disposable clothing. They’re going to get dirty, even with an apron!
  6. Hairy Habits: Explain how hairs can fall in food while cooking, making a meal unappetizing. Have long hair pulled back, away from faces? Hats help too.
  7. Cleanliness Matters: Make sure hands are washed before cooking and frequently throughout. Explain the need to wash between touching raw foods and other foods.
  8. Wash With Words: Teach children that to clean hands adequately for cooking they should use soap and water. They should rub their hands together vigorously while singing the ABC’s to make sure they scrub long enough before rinsing.
  9. Bad Bacteria: Discuss foodborne bacteria and how children can protect themselves. Also, require them to use a clean spoon each time they taste to avoid spreading germs. And remind them that finger licking is not allowed until the end!
  10. Reading Recipes: Have older children read the steps and gather what’s needed. Discuss the steps and make a game plan of what needs to be done next.