October Alphabet: K is for Kitchen Fun with Kids

Not just October, but anytime of the year is great for some kitchen fun with kids. And learning too. We can easily cook up both.

cooking-lp-okInvolving kids in the kitchen hasĀ  some immediate as well as long-term benefits. Sometimes, as a child, it seems like adults get to have all the fun. We might think what we are doing is work, but to a child, cooking can seem like fun. Adults get to use cool gadgets, splash in the sink washing stuff, mix ingredients like a science experiment with instructions, and create things to eat. What magic! No wonder kids want to help.

Besides being part of the fun, when kids help in the kitchen, they are creating a different kind of connection to food. They figure out they have more options than just the two of take it or leave it depending on how food is prepared and served.

cooking with kids turkey snackRaw veggies and dip are an alternative to cooked ones. These brightly colored pepper slices come complete with a bit of ranch dressing. (Colored circles with a turkey face make them festive.)

Besides the ingredients in a recipe, there are some not even listed like math, science, language, and more. The math comes as kids measure and count. For science, individual ingredients undergo a change as they are mixed, heated, or cooled. Talking, explaining, and adding new words to vocabulary are stirred in too. There are some brain strategies like following instructions and doing steps in a sequence.

Making applesauce is almost a tradition for fall. With harvest produce, another idea is vegetable soup. If your child knows the story of Stone Soup, you can start with one.

A Halloween favorite is Monster Munch made with small finger items such as cheerios, raisins, fishy crackers, puffed wheat, dried cranberries, nuts, tiny pretzels, andĀ  even a few chocolate chips. Kids can help with making any of these, or UnCandy Corn parfait snacks.

When kids help in the kitchen, they feel they are contributing and their effort is valued. Being part of the team is important for any of us.

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