cooking with your little ones

Don’t Be Scared to Cook with Your Kids

No matter your child’s age, you can include him in your kitchen time even if it just reading the recipe aloud and showing pictures when he is a baby. As they get older, it will get messier but also more satisfying. There are many reasons why you should start cooking with your children when they are young and teaching a life skill that everyone should be taught is only one of them. Here’s a few more...

Social-Emotional Development:

  • Hands-on cooking with mom or dad instills confidence and pride in their abilities within them.

  • Learning how to follow a recipe or mom’s instructions helps reinforce following directions as well as problem solving.

  • Letting them take the lead on a recipe fosters independence and self-direction.

  • Strengthens the bond between the child and the parent.

  • Teaches cooperation and sharing.


  • Math skills such as counting, fractions, measuring and sequencing are introduced.

  • Talking about where different foods are grown and why helps teach geography and science.

  • Cooking increases their vocabulary and understanding of the words.

  • Sharing stories about how food was eaten in the past, how it has changed and about how people eat it in different parts of the world teaches history and cultural lessons.


  • Preparing the food encourages them to become a more adventurous eater.

  • Helps them understand how to eat healthy by creating a well-balanced meal and portion control.

  • By cooking with seasonal vegetables and fruits, it teaches them where their food is grown and about farming.

Fine Motor Skills Development:

  • Give a child a whisk and let them go! Same with a spoon for stirring. Both helps to strengthen little hands.

  • Kneading bread is a great activity for the fingers and allover hands.

  • Teach them how to peel vegetables and fruits to increase range of motion and control.

More Information:

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is a normal phase that babies go through beginning as early as six-seven months and can last up to 24 months. Most parents see it beginning around 10 months when their babies realize that people exist even when they are not present, such as when mommy leaves to go to work or daddy leaves for the store, or sometimes even at night when your child is falling asleep or wakes up alone. In some cases, this anxiety will persist through preschool and even elementary school.

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Saying No to Sugar

When our children are small, we love introducing them to new foods and experiences, but adding high sugar drinks to their daily diets should not be one of them. High-calorie, sugary drinks are often the culprit of many health issues including obesity, tooth decay, overall poor diets and health problems.

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Eat fresh! Feel good!

Eat fresh! Feel good!

Eating fresh does not have to be expensive or hard. There are so many fruits and vegetables in season and available at local farmer’s markets, grocery stores or you can even plant now to keep eating fresh produce through late summer and early fall.

What are the benefits of eating fresh?

  • Fresh fruits and veggies are full of vitamins and minerals to help keep you healthy and energized.
  • These foods are loaded with fiber, which fills you up and helps your digestion.
  • Veggies and fruits reduce risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and high blood pressure.
  • Fresh produce is often called nature’s fast food because they are easy to prepare and eat!
  • You can save money! Eat more veggies with a goal to fill half of your plate. Also, produce is usually less expensive and leftover veggies can be frozen.

What’s in season now?

  • Lima beans, pole beans, peas, squash, cucumbers, okra, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, butter lettuce, zucchini, beets, apricots, cantaloupe, blackberries, garlic and lots more! 

Plan to grow:

  • Decide if you want to start with a small container or in the ground.
  • Pick a sunny spot for certain vegetables, or a shady spot for leafy greens.
  • Check your soil: Is there good drainage? Does your soil need some TLC with the addition of compost or manure?
  • Find out what you can plant in June and July, and source seeds or small plants.
  • Draw with your child what you want the garden to look like.

Don’t wait for the fall crops to come in. Appoint your child as sous chef to help in the kitchen now:

  • Give your child a shopping list when visiting the store or farmer’s market.
  • Put your kids in charge of washing all fruits and vegetables.
  • Teach your child how to handle knives properly and oversee dicing and cutting.
  • Research kid-friendly recipes together and plan mealtimes.
  • Let the kids sprinkle herbs or other seasonings onto vegetables.

More information:

Good Nutrition

More than 80 percent of children do not eat enough of the healthy foods that their brains and bodies need for nourishment. Not having enough or proper nourishment can affect a child’s learning ability and concentration, and can cause them to be overweight.

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