Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Screen Time Alternative: Invite Your Children Into The Kitchen

We've all referred to the hours after school as the "witching hour". You know those couple of hours that endless drag on, Monday through Friday. The kids are starving, but we don't want to feed them too much so we don't ruin their dinner. There is homework to complete, uniforms to launder for the next day's practice, and dinner to prepare! Typically my girls start to bicker right when I am in the middle of preparing dinner. I can almost time when my oldest will open the pantry door in search of a granola bar, it's about 15 minutes before dinner is on the table. If I could hire a mother's helper, it would be from 3-5:30 during the week. Instead I allow the girls to watch television, just so I can get through dinner preparation.

Until a couple of weeks ago.

I'm not sure if it's reverse psychology for me or them, but I started inviting my girls into the kitchen during dinner prep. We turn off the television, I get out the knives and vegetables that need to be prepared and tell them to have at it. I allow my 7 year old to cut with a regular kitchen knife, but give my 4 year old a child-safe knife (it's very much in the vein of pumpkin carving knives, it has teeth, but is not sharp). We laugh and chat a lot, they easily open up about their day during this time. I find it's easy for me to focus on the dinner prep that they aren't quite ready for, but will soon be able to handle just from my modeling. I keep an eye on them and am quick to offer up advice to Sj, who is getting to be very proficient in the kitchen. It's also been proven that children who actively participate in food preparation and shopping are more eager to try new foods. If you have a picky eater, make certain to invite them to help you!

We haven't quite moved the kids into the kitchen into a daily ritual, but it is a couple of times a week. I enjoy instilling a passion for cooking in them, skills they will bring with them through out their life.

Bruschetta prepared by the girls! 


  1. I totally agree. There is so much wisdom in the post. Some of our kids love to help in the kitchen. Some don't, but I try to teach them the basics as they pop in and out.

    Good job with the bruschetta, girls! I'm sure it was yummy.

  2. Very cool. I'm all for kids in the Kitchen.

  3. My kids love to help out in the kitchen as well. I've noticed too that they are more eager to try food they helped to prepare.

  4. Both E's help out in the kitchen too. One day I was making clams with linguine and they were SO excited to scrub the clams. They even got more excited seeing the clams "pop open" when they cooked. And they enjoyed eating the clams as well. Yes, cooking with kids is always great and exposes them to trying new things!


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