As we all know Thanksgiving meal preparations can be stressful, especially with young kids running around the house. All they want to do is be included, but it can be hard to come up with tasks that are safe and match their skill level. Don’t worry - we’ve come up with five ways kids can help with the Thanksgiving meal. Try out these tips to get those little chefs in the kitchen this year!
1. Wash Fruits & Veggies
Getting kids involved early in the cooking process can help them from getting impatient, so give them a task to help out at the beginning of food preparation! Washing fruits & veggies is an important step in food prep – and it’s an awesome way to teach your kiddos about food safety and cleanliness. Plus, scrubbing is a simple and safe task for most little ones to do all by themselves!
TIP: A small vegetable scrubber is best for small hands, helping your little ones get a strong grip so they can get those fruits & veggies squeaky clean.
2. Chop, Slice and Dice
Chopping up ingredients is a big, important step in most Thanksgiving meal preparations. Letting your little chef in on the action can make them feel super important! For brand new chef’s it’s best to use a child-safe nylon knife that features a serrated blade and a blunt cutting tip. Child-safe knives allow you to teach your little chef kitchen safety without worrying about accidents. The level of required adult supervision may vary depending on the age, confidence, and skill level of your chef.
TIP: If your kiddo is just starting to learn how to use a knife – try giving them softer food to cut like apples or bread.
3. Measure Out Ingredients
Working with cooking measurements is a great way to get your little ones practicing their math skills without it feeling like a lesson! Using labeled measuring spoons and cups will help familiarize them with different fractions.
TIP: For those that are too young to measure out ingredients themselves, start by letting them pour the ingredient into the mixture. Even the simple things can help them feel included in the kitchen!
4. Mix It All Up!
Mixing ingredients together with a spoon or whisk can be one of the most fun cooking tasks for young kids. Plus, mixing or stirring is a great way to promote teamwork between siblings and relatives. Try having one kid mix while the other pours in the ingredients. Taking turns stirring is a great lesson too!
TIP: Be prepared…this one might get messy! To minimize the spillage, try using mixing bowls with non-skid bases.
5. Help Keep Track of Baking Time
The responsibility of timekeeping will make your little ones feel extra special. Even the smallest of chefs can be in charge of holding a kitchen timer and letting you know when it goes off. Plus, watching the timer tick away will help keep them busy as they excitedly wait for the food to be ready!
TIP: Letting your little one be in charge of the kitchen timer is a great way to prevent the infamous “Is it ready yet?”