by Lori Francis
Quick fact. Children who help parents with meal preparation tend to be willing to try the foods they’re served! Children can help not only by helping parents choose what to eat, but there are several ways that they can help with cooking and preparation.
When Austin was 2, I got him started by helping me to scoop rice or oats out of a container and into a bowl. Pouring things was a little tricky, but if he would let me help him, he really loved to pour liquid and dry ingredients. Here are a few of his other favorites:
- Cracking eggs (sometimes messy)
- Holding the mixer (pretty messy)
- Pressing the blender buttons
- Spreading peanut butter
- Stirring ingredients (this was always messy)
- Getting food from the refrigerator
- Washing dishes or loading/unloading the dishwasher
I came to realize that the messier it was, the more he enjoyed it. Cracking eggs would actually crack him up! As much as I love my bamboo floors, I decided that seeing my son try something new just because he helped to make it, was so worth the time spent cleaning oats and crumbs out of the floor cracks. Get messy!