Cooking with young children is great because it enhances their gross and fine motor skill development. First, check to be sure there are no restrictions or prohibitions in your state or county with regard to cooking with kids. Then, implement simple cooking activities in your daycare center.
Toddler Cooking Skills
When you’re cooking with very young, they usually can help with the following tasks:
- Stirring and mixing
- Pouring from a large measuring cup into a bowl
- Patting or packing ingredients in a measuring cup like brown sugar.
- Using a plastic butter knife to spread soft foods like butter or jelly
- Shaking ingredients in a plastic container with a lid
- Using a cookie cutter on soft cookie dough
Cooking Skills for ages 4 to 5
Four and five-year-olds are learning to fine tune -fine motor skills. At this age children can help with:
- Juicing citrus
- Peeling some fruits and vegetables
- Mashing soft foods
- Scrubbing vegetables
- Cutting soft foods like eggs with a plastic knife
- Using cookie cutters
- Measuring dry ingredients
- Cracking open and breaking eggs
- Beating eggs with an egg beater
Cooking with Kids Safety Tips
Implement these kitchen safety and food safety tips when cooking with children and cooking for children:
- Always provide close adult supervision
- Use plastic knives and measuring cups and stainless steel bowls that won’t break.
- Make sure the cooking activity is at child’s level
Wash hands, utensils, cutting boards, etc. after handling raw meats.
- Clean and sanitize counters, tables, cutting boards, and utensils after using them.
Easy Recipes to make with Young Children
Ants in the Sand
Ingredients: 2 graham crackers and raisins
Instructions: Place graham crackers in a plastic sandwich bag and crush with a rolling pin. Add raisins to make ants. Children can eat outside or pour in a bowl to enjoy.
Friendship Crock Pot Soup
Ingredients: Potatoes, onion, carrots, celery, beef or chicken broth, tomatoes, seasoning, crackers.
Instructions: Assign each child to bring in an item to make a huge pot of soup. Dice vegetables and add ingredients a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours. Serve with crackers.
Ingredients: 2 pints sliced berries, 1 cup Greek yogurt, 2 scoops vanilla protein powder, water as necessary.
Instructions: Puree berries in a blender then add yogurt and protein powder and/or blend to thoroughly combine. Add water/milk if too thick. Spoon into Popsicle molds and freeze 3-5 hours.
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