Getting your kids involved in the kitchen is one of the top ways to bring out the adventurous eater in your child. Being a part of the show will grow their confidence, excitement and they will want to try & be a part of the applause. You may be thinking more about how challenging it is to have your kids “help” but in reality the rewards far outnumber the few annoyances or extra clean up you may have. What’s even better is there are so many ways you can involve your child in the meal. Today I’ll be talking about something that may seem a bit scary but your child is actually quite capable of doing.
The act of chopping and slicing can be a fun way for your child to help prepare the meal. There are wonderful child-friendly knives out there that you can make a part of your kitchen. My favorite has been from StarPack and you can get their 3-piece knife set on Amazon here: StarPack 3-Piece Knife Set The knives are made out of nylon and actually cut pretty well. Here are some tips to get you and your budding chef started with confidence in the kitchen:
- A non-stick cutting board. We have loved our cutting boards from D-FLIFE on Amazon: D-FLIFE Kids Cutting Boards
- Tip of the knife always stays on the cutting board
- Close-toed shoes
- No rushing – make sure you have made enough time (and double that!) and are not starving
- Teaching them to hold the knife properly and curling the fingers in with the hand holding the food will start them on a great path
- I recommend that you start with softer items such as bananas, avocado, or tomatoes which will allow them to get some safe knife skills and gain confidence in some easier items before moving to more challenging
- When you graduate to more challenging foods, start by cutting them into easier sizes first. For example, with a cucumber, I started by slicing it into 1” discs where Brooklyn then cut those. The better her skills get, the more challenges I place in front of her
I hope these tips can put your mind at ease and create confidence in yourself as a parent. You giving your child that power of participation will be such a gift to them with being involved and being more willing to try the wonderful foods you make as a family. Wellness is more successful when we focus on those first 2 letters of the word: WE. I’m excited to share more tips with you on how you can involve your children in the wonderful world of culinary creation. Come on over to my Instagram page, @michellemansfieldfamilyhealth on Tuesday, February 27, 8pm CST for my LIVE discussion of ways to involve your kids with mealtime. Submit any questions you have before the LIVE or simply join in and ask away. Hope to see you there!