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Old 10-17-2009, 02:55 PM   #1
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Do you let your children help out?

This was an interesting topic brought up in one of my group conversations, so i was wondering how other parents approach it. How early do you let you kids help out in the kitchen and what do you let them do? I personally think it is good practice, but I am clueless on how to execute it in a responsible safe way. Look forward to your opinions!

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Old 10-17-2009, 03:02 PM   #2
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as soon as they demonstrate an interest to help.

the kitchen can be a dangerous place for small children - they don't know about "some things" so the responsible part is really simple:

don't take your eyes off the little tykes when there is anything sharp or hot going on!
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Old 10-17-2009, 03:03 PM   #3
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stirring, mixing, getting things (pots and pans), are a few activities that young children can help with. As they get older, they can measure and handle a few more tools, like grating and peeling.
Of course, helping with preparing a meal may go a long ways towards getting them to help cleaning up.
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Old 10-17-2009, 03:09 PM   #4
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as soon as they demonstrate an interest to help.

the kitchen can be a dangerous place for small children - they don't know about "some things" so the responsible part is really simple:

don't take your eyes off the little tykes when there is anything sharp or hot going on!
Lol... love the picture. Yeah, i think the cutting part is the most dodgy... but you're right, with the right supervision, it can work.
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Old 10-17-2009, 03:16 PM   #5
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I started when I was about 5 or so. I think my kids were 3-4ish. Standing on a chair at the counter stirring and measuring and scooping out dough for cookies.

Often I would give the kids playdough I'd made to play with while I made other cookies. Then as they decided it was cool to help they cut out cookies of their own etc.

No knives til they were about 9. And mine still don't much care for putting things in the oven but they are quite comfy with the stove.
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Old 10-17-2009, 03:50 PM   #6
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My daughter started at about 2-3. She actually just helped me make rootbeer a few minutes ago. She was in charge of stirring and she also help the funnel as we poured the mixture.

She has made matzoh balls, kneaded bread, cracked eggs, and basically done anything that does not require sharp or hot things. The best is when she can use her hands.
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Old 10-17-2009, 08:45 PM   #7
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I started teaching Cade when he discovered chocolate chip cookies at about 2. At first I'd measure, hand him the spoon or cup and he would put it in the bowl. At 3 he learned to use the mixer and keep fongers out of the way, he alfo knew where the utinsels we needed were. Several weeks agao just before his 9th birthday he made the cookies all by himself. He asked me for help with the oven as he hates the heat it throws out.but he did it all and alone, asking only 2 questions in all. He spilled nother, he also loeaded the dish washer and started it going. He now wants me to show im how to do pizza dough and bread.Whooo Hoo what a boy.
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Old 10-17-2009, 09:56 PM   #8
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my son just turned 2 and he loves to play in the kitchen with pots , utensils, and the toaster oven(we leave it unplugged). The two dishes he love to pretend to make in soup and hot dogs. I don't let him help with the cooking yet but I will as soon as possible. I started making things like pasta and eggs by the time I was like 7. I learned to use a knife also around the same time.
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Old 10-17-2009, 10:12 PM   #9
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my son just turned 2 and he loves to play in the kitchen with pots , utensils, and the toaster oven(we leave it unplugged). The two dishes he love to pretend to make in soup and hot dogs. I don't let him help with the cooking yet but I will as soon as possible. I started making things like pasta and eggs by the time I was like 7. I learned to use a knife also around the same time.
thats funny, reminds me of kiddy cooking sets. But it looks promising for your son! At least you know he is interested.
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Old 10-18-2009, 09:11 AM   #10
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I cook with my grandchildren and have since they were toddlers. Like a lot of you, it started with just dumping ingredients in a bowl and working up to actually doing a lot of the prep. and some of the cooking. We have made memories doing this and I know my kiddos will think of me long after I'm gone when they prepare some of our special dishes.
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