by MELISSA GORDON
“Everybody out of the kitchen until I call you in for dinner!” That was my COVID-19 meltdown last week. But to be honest, even when we’re not in the midst of a pandemic I feel like banning everyone from the kitchen while I’m cooking. The only reason I don’t is because I’m holding out hope that by having my daughter in the kitchen with me, she will someday feel the magic of creating a meal, she will someday experience gratitude for the ingredients that make up a meal, she will someday know the joy of preparing a meal for others — and that she will someday cook for me so I can relax on the couch while dinner is being made!
Before they can cook on their own, though, kiddos can help in the kitchen in a variety of ways. To maintain safety in the kitchen, explicitly make them aware of hot surfaces and teach them to respect knives. (If they’re old enough to handle knives, teaching the safety circle is an excellent first start. Before picking up a knife, a person should extend their arm and turn their body in a full circle. If they can touch anyone, they are too close to others to pick up a knife.) Additionally, when introducing a new skill, first model it, then monitor your child as they do it. Once they’ve established competency in the activity, they can do it on their own.
Ways that younger kiddos can help:
• Setting the table
• Pouring water
• Peeling vegetables
• Measuring ingredients
• Mixing ingredients
• Kneading dough
• Spreading butter on toast
• Clearing the table
• Washing dishes
Cookies So Easy Your Kids Can Just About Make Them on Their Own
1 3/4 cups rolled oats
2 large, over ripened bananas, mashed
1/3 cup chocolate chips
Mix ingredients together in a bowl.
Scoop a spoonful and form into a ball. Place on a prepared cookie sheet.
Bake for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees.