Insights & Actions for Healthy Living
Kids Helping in the Kitchen — 10 Top Tools for Them

Kids Helping in the Kitchen — 10 Top Tools for Them

Young children love being helpers as much as we love having them by our side.

Yes, sometimes a task takes longer when the little ones help and you may need to pick the time they are in the kitchen, but you will both learn something and enjoy each other’s company as you do.

To encourage your kids to help in the kitchen, you can be sure they have the tools they need to participate safely!

Every kitchen assistant needs to be properly outfitted!

Your kids are no exception and will enjoy the experience that much more when they can use their very own tools!

Top 10 Kitchen Tools for Kids

Kids in the kitchen need to feel comfortable and stylish so that they love helping you with the food!

It is a good idea to be sure that the kids in your life have colorful, well fitted tools so they are not only safe but have a great experience too.

Here are the top 10 tools your kids will love to use in the kitchen:

(1) Apron – get one that fits their personality or get a blank canvas and let them create their own with fabric paints or markers and embellishments. Using your apron could lead to trips and falls if it is too long or baggy for them.

 

(2) Vegetable brush – what kid wouldn’t want to use this one while learning to clean food first! 

(3) Kids picture cookbook – Here’s one that is fun for kids over 5

(4) Colorful measuring cups and spoons – A little color just might make cooking more fun for you, too!

 

(5) Oven mitt for small hands

(6) Rolling pin 

(7) Cookie cutters 

(8) Kid-safe dull knife

 

(9) Long handled spoon for stirring – This is one place the same tool is good for all ages!

 

(10) Stepstool to reach the action – this is my favorite one because it is adjustable as your child grows, has handles so they won’t fall and contains them so they won’t reach around to get a pot or touch the stove and get hurt (this has happened to me! fell right off the small step onto the floor!). 

I have no connection with the pictured items other than liking them! The above images include affiliate links to the item pages on Amazon.com.

What Can Kids Do In the Kitchen?

Some adults may be nervous about letting kids get in the kitchen. Maybe they don’t know what to let them do, what is safe and maybe even would prefer them not to make a mess that will need cleaning up!

Wonder what kitchen activities kids should be doing at their age? Here is a good starting point for your child  from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA):

Age 2:

Wipe tables • Hand items to adult to put away (such as after grocery shopping) • Place things in trash • Tear lettuce or greens • Help “read” a cookbook by turning the pages • Make “faces” out of pieces of fruits and vegetables • Rinse vegetables or fruits • Snap green beans

Age 3:

All that a 2-year-old can do, plus: • Add ingredients • Talk about cooking • Scoop or mash potatoes • Squeeze citrus fruits • Stir pancake batter • Knead and shape dough • Name and count foods • Help assemble a pizza

Age 4:

All that a 3-year-old can do, plus: • Peel eggs and some fruits, such as oranges and bananas • Set the table • Crack eggs • Help measure dry ingredients • Help make sandwiches and tossed salads

Age 5:

All that a 4-year-old can do, plus: • Measure liquids • Cut soft fruits with a dull knife • Use an egg beater

Naturally you will be supervising what they do while they are being good helpers!

Benefits of Spending Time in the Kitchen Together

When you are together with children in the kitchen, no matter what their age, it can bring everyone some great benefits!

It is the perfect time for great conversation!

This is also a good time to share knowledge in several areas including:

Food Safety

  • Teach them food safety principles from the beginning.
  • It is important to wash hands before you begin and between tasks.
  • Don’t play with your hair or wipe nose or face while cooking.
  • If you sneeze or cough, time to wash hands.
  • Keep counters and tools clean between foods to prevent germs from jumping from one food to another.
  • Pull back any long hair that could touch the food.
  • Never taste before it is cooked!
  • Use clean cooking tools.
  • Never cook without an adult in the kitchen.

Food Appreciation

  • How it is cooked
  • Where it comes from to get to your plate
  • Willingness to try new foods

Life Skills

  • Reading and arithmetic skills from reading recipe, measuring ingredients and working with fractions
  • Pride in accomplishment
  • Decision making skills while planning a menu and picking the ingredients at the supermarket
  • Responsibility of cooking for family and serving an appealing and tasty meal
  • Lifelong skills with preparing foods, using kitchen appliances and tools and planning a meal
  • Sharing their knowledge with others

The best benefit of all is enjoying time together!

Remember this:

Good Parents 

Have Sticky Floors

Messy Kitchens

Laundry Piles

Dirty Ovens and

HAPPY KIDS!

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