Age Appropriate Skills
- Use blunt scissors to cut soft foods
- Use a can opener
- Wash fruits and vegetables
- Tear lettuce
- Stir, whisk, beat liquid or dry ingredients together
- Grease pans or baking trays
- Use a rolling pin (to roll dough, crush cookies, make biscuit crumbs)
- Peel oranges, bananas, hard boiled eggs
- Spread with a butter knife or sandwich spreader
- Squeeze lemons or oranges
- Mash vegetables or fruits with a fork or potato masher
- Measure dry ingredients with supervision
- Shape hamburgers or meatballs
Try these kitchen activities on a rainy day or when you're cooking and want some extra help from your kids.
Lettuce Have Fun:
Have your little helper tear up and rinse lettuce for salad. He or she might get a bit wet, but the best part is that kids who help make the salad may be more willing to eat it!
Fill a non-breakable bowl with shredded cheddar cheese for your child to sprinkle with a spoon over a casserole or vegetable side dish. Put out an extra bowl for your child to nibble on!
Cut up several types of fruit and place in separate non-breakable bowls. Give your child a big plastic bowl and a spoon for mixing the fruits into a fruit salad.
Feel Better Snack:
If someone in the family is feeling under the weather or having a tough day, let the other children prepare a good-for-you snack tray to cheer them up. Have them fill each cup of a 6-cup muffin tin with a different healthy goodie, such as sliced fruit, wheat crackers and cheese shreds. And don't forget to tuck in a hand-drawn picture or encouraging note.
Spread slices of toast with reduced-fat cream cheese or peanut butter for a blank canvas. Then set out some toppings for the kids to arrange decoratively on top to create a picture. Try fun-shaped cereal, sliced bananas, apple dices, strawberry slices, jam or vegemite.
Hands-On Fruits & Veggies:
Your kids will be more apt to eat fruits and vegetables if they have a hand in preparing them for a meal. Smaller fingers can snap off the ends of fresh green beans, break broccoli, tear salad greens, and help peel bananas and oranges. Let them help wash produce, too, such as cucumbers, mushrooms, potatoes and tomatoes.