How to get kids cooking in the kitchen (this will help your picky eater)

 Benefits of Children cooking in the Kitchen 


Have your kids be your kitchen helper.  To get kids wanting to cook in the kitchen doesn’t have to be a difficult task.  Kids, even at a young age, can help in the kitchen.   Young children can sprinkle on spices, count or help mix.  As children get older they can help cook and have more responsibility in the kitchen.  When children help in the kitchen they are more likely to eat the food. You will have fewer mealtime battles when your children help cook the food.


Bringing kids into the kitchen has tons of benefits.  Kids will build a positive relationship with food.  First, you show them, then guide them and then let them do it themselves.  Helping in the kitchen doesn’t always have to be a meal, it can be as simple as making their own breakfast bagel.


If you are interested in How to teach your children the proper knife skills look into the Ultimate Meal Planning Bundle.  You will get videos to teach knife and kitchen safety too children at any age.


Reasons every child should learn to cook

7 Benefits of kids in the kitchen. A boy cracking an egg, a baby with a chefs hat and shaking off flour.
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What each child can do will depend on their age and your patience. Start small and include the kids in the cooking process.  Yes, when kids are helping in the kitchen things can take a bit longer, but they will be learning and you will be making memories.  It’s worth it.


My older son loves to help in the kitchen.  When got him his own apron, mixing bowls and cooking book a few years ago. He will go get his apron and ask “can I mix?”  My little one, 2, now says “me too”.  I try to find simple tasks that both children can do.  After we finish cooking, they need to learn to help clean up as well.  They will put the cooking items in the dishwasher and help unload the dishwasher too.


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Benefits of Cooking in Early Childhood


1. Build Basic Cooking Skills

Children will learn basic cooking skills that they will use in their future.  They can learn when you should use a frying pan instead of a pot. Teach children how to prepare healthy food at home and not rely on ordering food. When you cook at home you know exactly what you and your family are eating. Children and maybe you will start to learn what is in the food you eat and how it affects your health.


If you are interested in How to teach your children the proper knife skills look into the Ultimate Meal Planning Bundle.  You will get videos to teach knife and kitchen safety too children at any age.


Get your kids in the kitchen and want to cook. with this meal planning bundle
Click on the picture to get safety tips for cooking with kids.



2. Have an appreciation and love of cooking


Child making his own pizza is a great way to get kids cooking in the kitchen


Cooking together is a wonderful learning experience and a terrific way to bond.  When kids are helping in the kitchen they don’t necessarily feel like they are learning.  Kids are enjoying helping mom or dad and can’t wait to see what they made. Children are curious and what to try new things.  This is a perfect opportunity to allow your child to explore.  Children will learn that cooking doesn’t just happen, but it takes time.  You may even unlock a new hobby or skill for your child.


If you are looking for advice on cooking with your toddler read this guide.



3.  Math Time


Child holding a cooking book in front of a large mixer in a the kitchen. Showing how to get kids cooking and involved in the kitchen


Many children struggle a bit with different levels of math.  There is no way to cook without using Math.  Kids don’t have to know they are using math, but will still be learning. Young kids can help count the eggs or count how many times you stir the mixture.  Older children can learn that math is practical and used in everyday life.


Related Reading to help learn Math Facts 

4. Encourages Trying Foods


To teach children about healthy eating you have to encourage this habit from early on.  When kids are in the kitchen for the cooking process they can see and taste foods at different stages.  Maybe your child will like a raw pepper but doesn’t like a cooked pepper.  That’s ok.  The texture is quite different after cooking a pepper.  You would never know that if your child wasn’t helping in the kitchen.


If you are struggling with getting your child to eat or is picky you need to look into “Why Won’t My Child Eat: Simple Steps to Bring Joy and Nourishment Back to Feeding Kids with Allergies, Pickiness, Oral SPD.  This printable book is in the Ultimate Meal Planning Bundle.  Get yours now to help your child eat more of a variety.


Child with container of blueberries. Children can help count is an easy way to get kids in the kitchen
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5.  Introduce and build vocabulary

As you teach different names of kitchen tools this will add to their vocabulary.  It might be words that your 3-year-old has never heard before.  Older children will know the terms and understand what you are asking.  You can ask your child to bring you all the ingredients and the supplies you need for the meal.


Related Reading you will enjoy on the Benefits of Reading to your children



6. Sense of accomplishment


Young child putting butter on a bagel is an easy way to get kids cooking in the kitchen


Even if your child is putting butter on a bagel, they will be able to say “I did it.”  That leaves any child feeling proud of themselves.  We should encourage this feeling in our children as often as possible.



Watch this video with your kids so they can see other children cooking.



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7. Sensory Activities

By mixing food with their hand’s kids get exposed to different textures.  Mixing and rolling dough are also found to be calming.  It may have a calming effect on your child.  Try and see.


8. Develop Fine Motor Skills

Cracking eggs, pouring, opening jars or cans are all ways to build fine motor skills.  Kids will be naturally using those muscles and building up their hand strength.


9. Requires following Directions

This is an easy way to have kids practice listening and following directions.  They will learn that if they don’t go slow and take things step-by-step that the recipe won’t come out the right way.  Following directions and instructions is extremely important in the kitchen.


10. Learn the importance of helping around the house

Kids need to learn early on that they are part of the family and need to help out.  Everything shouldn’t be left to mom or dad.  At different ages, kids are able to do different household chores.  To learn more about age appropriate chores read this article.



Cooking with kids safety tips

Anytime you are in the kitchen you need to practice kitchen safety.  You need to do everything to minimize any risk of injuries.

  • Teach children to always wash their hands before they begin
  • Adults or older children use knives
  • Set up a prep area away from the stove
  • Use plastic bowls or cookware
  • Kids can help wipe up spills
  • Use oven mitts
  • After taking something hot out of the oven put down on an over safe mat
  • When you are finished make sure to clean everything up and turn everything off


Comment below and share with me what your kids like to cook in the kitchen.  I would some more ideas.


How to get kids cooking in the kitchen (this will help your picky eater)


For more kitchen safety and tools that will help you teach your kids knife skills and safety at every age look into the Ultimate Meal Planning Bundle. 

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A child cracking a egg and helping in the kitchen. The benefits of cooking in early childhood


Hands covered in flour. Learn the benefits of cooking in early childhood


  1. So important to have kids helping in the kitchen it helps them build memories and also assures that they will be able to cook when they are older and living on their own. Great article

    1. ExploreKidTalk says:

      Thank you, Angela. Yes, you can build memories as you teach kids important skills that they will need in the future. So many kids in middle school don’t know the basics of cooking. These are important skills to teach early one.

  2. Tammy says:

    Lovely resource for mothers or caretakers of children!

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