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Getting a meal on the table can be a major feat in any busy family. You may be tempted to ban your kids from the kitchen so that you can cook in peace. But here’s another idea: How about enlisting your kids’ help with cooking? Invite them to pitch in, and your children will reap these big benefits of helping in the kitchen:
Part of cooking with kids is teaching them kitchen safety. Here are some basic safety rules to get you started:
You may be afraid that involving your kids in the kitchen will just mean more mess and more time. And you may be right, at least in the beginning. So start small. Choose one meal per week for which a child can be kitchen helper. Find doable, age-appropriate tasks. A 3-year-old can tear lettuce for a salad, and an 8-year-old can be in charge of preparing the salad. Over time, you’ll find your rhythm together and realize that your child is making a real contribution to meal prep.
Alice Callahan is a freelance writer and work-at-home mom in Eugene, Oregon. Her sous chef is her two-year-old daughter, who “helps” with meal preparation all the time.