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Q: When should kids start helping out in the kitchen?
A: As soon as they are able!
Innovative educator Maria Montessori9 A Famous Philosopher), who developed a unique philosophy of education that more than a century later still bears her name, believed that the teacher’s primary job was to provide opportunities for children to learn and flourish by way of their natural curiosity and intuition.
Parents who provide “practical life activities” for their children—the everyday activities of living—are acting as their kids’ first and best teachers. And what life skill is more practical than food preparation, an activity parents can expose their kids to every day? This I realised when I saw my toddy more in kitchen than near toys.
As I have always been listening to the complaints of mingling of more than necessary time in the gadgets and TV, I always insisted my child to get engaged in toys; especially which shelled motor skill development in it.
Then one day I noticed him doing something with bread in the fridge. His interest in bread seem to be key to my lock.Here comes the Idea!!! Why not to let him enter the kitchen stuff? The cost will be only a little untidiness and kitchen cleaning would take a lot time.
Is having kids in the kitchen a messy proposition? Undoubtedly. But who hasn’t made a mess or two in the interests of learning?! Make sure your child knows it’s okay to make a mess, and you’re ready to go.
Invite your kids into your kitchen. Who knows where it might lead?!
Having toddlers help with meal preparation is an especially good strategy with picky eaters. Food that children have helped prepare is more interesting and more appetizing than food that merely shows up on their plates. Meal prep also teaches kids the value of food, helps them develop fine motor skills, and gives them scheduled, focused time to talk with you, which increases language development—as well as emotional bonds. Now, that’s quality time!
First, make your kitchen safe and accessible to your toddler. Assign a low drawer to hold utensils that will be solely for his use. Have a special, easily reached place in the fridge for food and drink designated just for her. Provide a stool that gives him access to the kitchen counter. Hang an apron somewhere she can get it down herself. Teach him good food preparation hygiene by washing your hands and making sure he washes his as well.
10 Simple Food Prep Activities That Even a Toddler Can Do
1. Spread butter or jam on a piece of toast.
Place the toast on a plate to help contain the mess. Place just a small amount of butter or jam in a small bowl and provide a small spreader or a butter knife your child can manage.
2. Slice apples.
Purchase an apple corer. Cut the apple crosswise in half, place it flat side down on a cutting board, and let your child push down on the corer, offering minimal assistance. Use small tongs to remove the apple slices from the corer.
3. Peel and slice a hard-boiled egg.
This is a great activity for concentration and for refining kids’ fine motor skills. After the eggs have cooled, crack the eggshells gently and peel a piece or two to start the process, then allow your child a turn. Once the egg is peeled, have your child cut the egg using an egg slicer. Use tongs to remove the egg from the slicer.
4. Peel an orange.
Have your child practice her fine motor skills and build hand strength with this activity that will also fill your kitchen with a heavenly smell! For very young children, make sure you bring home easy peeling fruit.
5. Scoop out melon with a melon baller.
This is a messy activity—a great one for a hot day outside. It takes coordination to make balls, and just scooping a melon out is an accomplishment for toddlers! Most kids find this activity great fun.
6. Slice cheese.
Pre-cut several long rectangles of cheese. Provide plastic knives and invite your child to slice the larger pieces into bite-sized pieces to snack on. Plastic knives will go through most cheese easily and safely, and your child will feel a sense of independence and responsibility.
Tune in my blog newviewbyshweta.blogspot.com for ten more fun food activities to get your junior chefs comfortable in the kitchen. Maybe someday they’ll be cooking entire meals for you—
One can always dream!