Saturday Sidebar: How do you involve children to help in kitchen?

Saturday Sidebar: How do you involve children to help in kitchen?

This week’s Saturday Sidebar Question comes from World Moms Blog writer Eva Fannon. She asked our writers,

World Mom, Meredith's daughter in her kitchen

World Mom, Meredith’s daughter in her kitchen

“I’ve got two very willing volunteers in the kitchen, (2 & 6 yo), and I need help finding ways to incorporate their help while still keeping them safe. Any ideas?”

Check out what some of our World Moms had to say…

Lady E of Indonesia writes:

“My son has been in the kitchen since he was a newborn, and now loves to mix and pour, crack eggs, use the beater, and he cooks eggs when I am next to him. I am slowly teaching him knife skills, but with tight supervision. I think the main thing is always explaining the process, why we do things the way that we do, and what we need to do in order to stay safe. He also loves to look through cookbooks and plan a menu. My son is a very picky, difficult eater. Involving him in the process has helped to add a few items onto his “will eat list.”

Karyn Van Der Zwet of New Zealand writes:

I am a bit more relaxed with sharp knives than most parents, and expect our kids to cut themselves a few times before they learn to keep themselves safe. Our boys started using knives from around 15 months and even the three year-old is pretty competent at slicing stuff – importantly they also learned (without me saying anything) when they couldn’t manage and will all ask for help if they think the task is likely to end in injury – slicing carrots springs to mind here. With the stove-top I teach them to hold the handle to the oven (or some other near object) with one hand while they stir things on elements. If they are near to an element, and I know it’s hot, I’ll tell them that it is on.

I never predict the future. That is, I never tell our kids they ‘will’ cut themselves, or that they ‘will’ burn themselves, or that they ‘will’ grate their fingers etc. I focus on real, concreteation like: the stove is hot; the knife is sharp; the grater is like lots of little knives. I also differentiate between tools and toys – knives etc are useful, but not for playing with. This way all of our kids, even the three year-old, have learned to manage the equipment – with a few woopsies on the way – and learn they can manage risk and they can manage when things don’t go according to plan.

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World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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