How to Involve Your Kids in Holiday Cooking

Cooking with Kids

Thanksgiving is just the beginning. Between now and New Year’s Day, there are so many celebrations. Parties, family gatherings, and special traditions are all included in this busy time of year. For a lot of us, this means tons of cooking, which can be wonderful, but also exhausting. So why not enlist some help? Big cooking projects that are tied to special occasions are fantastic opportunities to get even reluctant cooks into the kitchen. Here are some ways to include kids of all ages:

How to Involve Your Kids in Holiday Cooking

Preschoolers:

Not only do they want to help, but they love to have ownership over a task. Here are some activities that you can give them to do that will actually save you time because they don’t require close supervision.

  • Pulling fresh herbs off their stems
  • Tearing greens for a salad
  • Combining dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  • Washing produce

Younger School Aged Kids:

These kiddos are more coordinated than they used to be and can follow multi-step directions, which makes them ready for some more complicated tasks.

  • Measuring wet and dry ingredients
  • Mixing wet and dry ingredients
  • Peeling vegetables
  • Chopping vegetables (if you feel comfortable with their knife skills)
  • Reading recipe steps out loud
  • Arranging platters
  • Setting the table
  • Making place cards

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Tweens:

They want to be trusted with important tasks and will rise to the occasion. Traditions can mean a lot to this age group, so teaching “grandma’s recipe” can be really appealing and meaningful.

  • Chopping vegetables
  • Making a simple recipe from start to finish
  • Scooping/distributing cookie batter
  • Decorating cookies
  • Tending to things on the stove (if you are comfortable)
  • Using a hand beater for cakes, whipped cream, etc.

Teens:

Independence is what it’s all about, so assign them a dish or a type of dish and let them pick the recipe themselves to prepare from start to finish.

How do you involve your kids in the holiday cooking? Share your ideas in the comments?

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