Teaching Your Children Cooking

children cooking

Kids love to cook, and teaching them to cook from an early age introduces them to a variety of different foods so they develop a greater appreciation of taste, feel, size, and smell when preparing fresh food and when enjoying the results of their efforts.  Kids are more likely to eat what they have cooked themselves and are more willing to try a wider variety of foods.

children cooking

The best way to teach kids how to cook and encourage their love of good food is to let them help in the kitchen from an early age.  Children will have a better understanding of food and how it’s prepared.  You never know, by getting junior cooking early, your child may become a kid chef in the family.  Also, allowing kids in the kitchen expands their language skills around words such as simmer, sauté and blend.  If you are teaching a child baking, they will need to learn safety and the very important aspect of hygiene.  

Teaching children cooking empowers them with better knowledge of where their food comes from, which foods come fresh and why some foods need to be stored in a fridge.  Getting children cooking helps them understand which foods come in tins, bottles, in a spice jar and what foods are bought fresh.

A simple meal that’s an easy dinner for kids to cook may become a regular routine, eating food kids can make.  And keeping junior cooking will develop his skills for the long term. One recipe that would characterize easy cooking for kids, as well as being snacks kids can make, would be kids cookie biscuits that could well become a favorite.


Some parents don’t allow their kids in the kitchen, however there are several ways to teach your child baking.  It’s even possible to teach baking for toddlers to learn to make simple meals.  If you play at cooking with toddlers, you never know, your child may quickly develop into a kid chef.  Cooking with pre-schoolers can be fun and they are sure to learn some basics as they watch you in the kitchen.

You can allow older kids in the kitchen to participate when you are cooking, while making an easy dinner for kids to eat (or a quick healthy kids dinner).  This shows them how delicious, healthy, quick and easy kids’ meals can be made.

As an educational program, many schools have kitchen gardens, so kids can learn about cooking using the herbs and spices fresh from the school garden.  If the school also has a cooking program, teachers can explain the benefits of certain foods as the children are involved in choosing the plants to use in cooking.

Vegetable Garden

Cooking encourages children to eat healthy meals as well as experiment while being creative.

Cooking Class



You may wonder what would be an easy dinner for kids to learn to cook or what would be the best cookbook for kids to use to learn how to cook.   It may not even be necessary to use a cookbook for kids to follow, as they may be able to learn to follow simple recipes that you may already know.  Kids love to cook. It’s simply a matter of finding food kids can make.

How are you going to get junior cooking?  Why not start with a simple breakfast kids can make.  Your kids cook real food, even if they are simply boiling an egg.  

Further down the track, you may let your kids cook dinner.  But before that, there are many simple lunches kids can make.  There are even some recipes kids can make on their own.  If you decide to teach your children cooking, they will have a skill for life.

When kids cook real food in the kitchen, they will no doubt like their food better, but will also understand where food comes from and how its prepared.  Getting children cooking may even help them to develop their own recipes kids can make on their own.  Simple things kids can cook are kids’ cookie recipes. (Why not teach your kids cookie baking).

Kids love to cook but first they need guidance and proper safety instructions, before starting.

They will need to…

  • Wash hands properly before preparing the kitchen space ready for cooking.
  • Find the stool for standing on, putting on the all-important apron.
  • Tie their hair back.
  • Find the correct mixing bowl, tray for oven baking, oven safety gloves, spoon for mixing, kids cookie cutter… all before starting.  
  • Start collecting all the basic ingredients for things kids can cook.  
  • Measure the correct cup quantities of flour, butter, eggs, sugar, sultanas and cornflakes.

Children cooking need to have clean hands, a clean bench top for preparing easy food kids can make and always clean up hands and the kitchen when child baking is finished.

With the increased interest (these days) in eating healthy foods, there are more kids in the kitchen cooking than in previous generations.  Kids are coming up with their very own family recipes while taking on more responsibilities in the kitchen. Some of these kids can be encouraged to develop their own children’s cookbooks with many recipes that are easy cooking for kids to tackle, plus an easy dinner for kids to follow and understand.

Many children find that cooking develops more responsibility which in turn DEVELOPS THEIR SELF-ESTEEM.  With more kids in the kitchen, new skills are being learnt, new responsibilities are being taken on, as they are also developing their own creative new skills such as cutting, mixing, weighing and cooking different foods.

All kids love to cook, they just need guidance and proper safety instructions before starting.


Safety in the kitchen is paramount when anyone is cooking… especially when using sharp knives, hot water and steam from cooking vegetables, ovens and other equipment. It is always recommended that every kitchen have a Fire Safety Blanket.

So, children cooking always need supervision. Kids need guidelines and rules about which pots, pans and utensils they can use.



Food safety guidelines for children cooking

1 Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water

2 Tie hair back, perhaps wear a cap, apron and gloves

3 Food surface cleanliness, for food preparation

4 Teach knife safety and utensils and which ones to use

5 Separation of raw meat poultry, seafood with fresh food

7 Teach cooking equipment, oven and utensil safety

Tip: Remind children cooking to wait until food is cooked before sampling.

With children cooking, they will soon develop a love of food and better appreciate the effort involved in the preparation of a delicious meal.  And remember, make it fun.  Take lots of pictures and create memories for you and your children to cherish!

So what are things that kids can cook?  Quick and healthy kids’ dinner recipes are a great place to start.

Here are some ideas for Easy Meals Kids Can Make

If you would like to learn from Jamie Oliver cooking with kids, click here…

Read more about Fun Activities for Kids

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