Too Many Cooks

As I stand in my kitchen making dinner, I also find myself fielding questions from my curious 4 year old, helping my 3 year old to find a missing toy, having my pant leg tugged on by my 1 year old, while also shooing a big German Shepherd out of the way and shouting at our old cocker spaniel to stop begging for food! Talk about too many cooks in the kitchen! It’s enough to make me crazy (and long for a personal chef). But not only will that never happen, it would also make things a lot less “exciting!” And since I like excitement I thought I’d post about kids in the kitchen!

Whether you are an avid cook, bake occasionally or prefer to order in, we all have one thing in common…kids! Curious, happy, clever, interested, sneaky, can’t wait to make a mess (preferably with chocolate) KIDS! And I say no matter the age, getting them in to the kitchen to cook, bake, create or just make a mess can be such a positive experience for everyone.

Below I’ve listed some of the skills that children are exposed to when cooking alongside a parent or caregiver in the kitchen. There are so many “teachable moments” to be had.

Counting

Fractions

Sorting

Sequencing

Measuring

Following Directions

Shapes

Ingredients

Utensils/Tools

Time

Patience

Food Changes

Senses

Creativity

Safety

Working Together

Fine Motor Skills

Accomplishment

Problem Solving

Increasing Vocabulary

Responsibility

My kids absolutely love to be in the kitchen helping (and secretly learning). They help measure, add ingredients, turn on the mixer, stir, scoop and most importantly, lick the bowl.  I’ve noticed that when they are involved in the process, they tend to experiment more with what foods they’ll try and surprisingly might even like! Get creative, have fun make a mess. It’s totally worth it.

To get everyone started, here’s a super easy, kid friendly recipe. There aren’t many ingredients and kids can help with most everything.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

1 cup sugar

8 oz. cream cheese – softened

1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)

2 eggs

2 cups Bisquick

Using an electric mixer, cream together the sugar and cream cheese.

Next, add the bananas and eggs and mix until combined.

Add bisquick last and mix until all ingredients are well combined.

Pour into greased loaf pan and sprinkle chocolate chips on top.

Bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Lightly cover the top of the bread with foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Cool completely before cutting & serving.

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