"Let Me Help!" 6 Stove-Free Ways to Get Kids Cookin'
There’s plenty of research out there that shows how beneficial it is for kids to explore and help out in the kitchen—but things like hot burners and sharp knives can make cooking pretty hazardous for youngsters. The good news is that there’s always ways to work around safety hazards (check out our kitchen safety tips for more info), and plenty of ways your tots can help out without having to go near anything sharp or hot. Try out our ideas below to immerse your little ones in the magic of the kitchen!
1. Make Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
Chocolate-covered strawberries are an easy treat for littles to help out on, especially toddlers. Once you’ve got the chocolate ready, hand over the strawberries. Have the kids hold them by the stems, carefully dunk them in chocolate, and then place on a baking sheet covered in wax paper.
2. Devil Some Eggs
The first part’s all yours, grownups—get those eggs all nice and hard-boiled/shelled and scoop out the yolks. From here, let your kids take charge. Help them measure out the filling ingredients (our own recipe calls for mayo, white vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper) and then let them use a fork to mix it into the yolks. Once they’ve got the filling all prepped, the real fun starts! Help them load the filling into a pastry bag, and then let them add the filling to each egg half.
3. Set up the Veggie Platter
Creating a colorful array of vegetables like carrot sticks, celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, and pre-sliced pepper strips or cucumbers is a perfect job for kids—it gives them a chance to practice their organizing skills and eye-hand coordination. You can always go for store-bought dip, but making your own is another great opportunity for your little ones to help out by mixing, measuring, and stirring.
4. Stir up Some Tasty Beverages
It can be as simple as filling a pitcher with ice cubes and water, or you can go a step further and lead them through the steps of making iced tea or flavored water mix. For an extra-healthy and flavorful beverage, you can chop up some fruit and then have your little ones toss them into a pitcher of water for a natural, soft flavor. The kids can pick their favorite fruits to add in, or you can give one of our five delicious combos a try.
5. Mix up Some Snack Bars
Every once in a while, every family deserves a somewhat sweet indulgence—and these homemade granola bars are a great treat to go for. While there are some parts of this recipe that require a stovetop and oven, the majority of the work involves measuring ingredients, mixing everything together, and pouring it into a glass pan to bake—all kid-friendly tasks.
6. Freeze Your Own Popsicles
A great way to cut out extra sugar, making your own popsicles is also great measuring and pouring practice for little chefs-to-be. They’ll have a blast pouring the mixture into the molds—and they’ll love enjoying the result of their efforts!