The holidays are often a hectic time by nature and there always seems to be a never ending “to do” list. Most of the work seems to revolve around cooking. For me this is my favorite part of the season.
If you have little ones in tow it is a chance for them to be helpful and make the chores a lot more fun. Depending on the age and abilities of your child there are almost always some way they can do their part with holiday prep in the kitchen.
With my lovies (almost 4 and a brand new 2) I try to encourage their interest in helping in the kitchen. You might be surprised at what they are able to do. Here are some basic ideas for younger children to do their part in the kitchen:
- Wash fruits and vegetables
- Stir ingredients in a bowl
- Tear lettuce
- Pour liquids
- Grease pans
- Open packages
- Peel oranges or hard-cooked eggs
- Snip fresh herbs with dull scissors
- Mash bananas with a fork
5-to 6-Year Olds
- Measure ingredients
- Cut soft foods with a blunt knife
- Set the table
- Garnish food
I find cooking with them to be a great opportunity to teach them about the ingredients we are working with. They also tend to get more excited about trying new foods when they have helped prepare them. If you have a picky eater getting them involved may really help. There is nothing like seeing the pride on their little face when they see the results of their hard work.
The holiday season is a perfect time to get a little help in the kitchen while also starting traditions that can last a lifetime. I find myself recreating recipes and traditions with my lovies that I experienced as a child. Sharing time cooking with those I love has always been something that means so much to me. The kitchen has always been a safe place to make mistakes and learn through trial and error. Make the holidays the start of great memories as well as recipes. Happy Holidays!
Here are some recipes that are sure to be a hit with the little ones: