If you’re wondering at what age should a child start cooking, you’ll love this great guide for cooking skills by age! This post will share when to start teaching kids to cook and at what age can a child use the stove. Keep reading for age appropriate cooking tasks.
When you want your kid to develop creativity and have an interesting and useful hobby, you can teach them how to cook.
But, what can they do according to age?
Every child should learn to cook! Let’s figure out when to start teaching basic cooking skills.
In this article, we will show you that you can teach your kid cooking from an early age and which are the specific skills they can develop. With a bit of will and motivation, there is plenty of room for creative ideas!
Age-Appropriate Cooking Tasks for Kids
Cooking at 1
Children at 1 year can be very curious and want to touch or try different things. Yet, this is still too early to teach them to cook. Still, you can entertain them while you cook in the kitchen. Kids at that age are like sponges and remember a lot of information, so you can talk to them and explain what you are doing. Also, they can play with edible dough and try to create shapes.
Cooking at 2 – 3
All activities during this age should be supervised and without any sharp object since they still don’t have good coordination and precise work. Try to give them more work by helping you in the process. Also, it is a good idea to guide them through, but give them simpler tasks, like washing vegetables and asking them to recognize them, spooning ingredients on the scale, mashing potatoes at the right temperature, and squeezing citruses.
Cooking at 3 – 4
At this age, kids have more skills and can do some simpler tasks completely alone, like kneading, rolling, and shaping dough which can be very interesting for them to do. Also, they may be stubborn, so remind them to listen to your instructions. This is too early to use sharp objects, but allow them to use pestle and mortar. Allow them to practice cutting soft ingredients, like butter, with a plastic knife.
Cooking at 4 – 5
At this age, it is a good time to teach your kid how to serve the table and help you with the dishwasher. Try to use as many plastic dishes as possible and allow them to stir ingredients or weight on their own. Also, now is time to start teaching them about the weight and right amount of ingredients, so they could recognize the ratio. Let them play with food to sense textures and mix ingredients with bare hands. Also, teach them to use herbs and pick healthy leaves. Now is time to learn to clean after them and keep units clean.
Cooking at 5 – 6
Cooking at the age of 5 is getting them more and more engaged in the process and with lower supervision. Kids at the age of 5 and going to 6 are more skillful with precise movements and ready for more complicated processes. They can learn simple recipes and make them on their own. Still, be very careful with the stove and cooking on their own, so rather help them with it. They can use scissors for cutting herbs and small knives for cutting soft vegetables or fruits, like strawberries and bananas. Simple help like grating or rubbing in the mixture can help you a lot and show them more responsibility and independence. Let them decorate and set the table, but also teach them to help you with the dishes after a meal. Show them that a clean kitchen is as important as a good meal.
Cooking at 6 – 7
At this age, kids can start to experiment with recipes and mixtures, so allow them to try the food and combine aromas. Now they can prepare a whole meal with your help near the oven. Before going to school, they should learn to measure and set the oven temperature. Also, show them how to handle the hot pan or fry food. Encourage them to form meatballs or nuggets freely and peel some vegetables. Supervise them while they’re chopping vegetables and slice fruits. Also, show them some simple plating ideas and decorations to encourage creativity.
Cooking at 7 – 8
Even though your kids are going to school, you should supervise them while cooking and let them assist you. They now have learned precise movements with most of the kitchen cutlery and to use some electronic gadgets, like the mixer. It is an ideal time to learn to peel most of the fruits and vegetables and prepare them independently.
Cooking at 8 – 9
With more experience with food, try to show them some complex processes with meat or fish. This will encourage them to try and taste what they have cooked with their new skill. It is still time to check after their knife work and warn them to be careful with their fingers. They can try some new activities, like whisking, making salads, or opening cans. Still, avoid using big and sharp knives or inappropriate dishes.
Cooking at 9 – 10
At this age, the kid is mature enough to try recipes on their own and finish the dish without the parent’s help. Ask them to help you plan family meals and to find ingredients in the cupboards alone. Also, start teaching them to use a microwave, oven, and stove on their own. Always keep an eye on them and calm them if they’re rushing or making mistakes. Let them finish the meal in the way they think is proper and then show them how to fix it, if it isn’t good.
Cooking For Teenagers
Teenagers can be a great amateur cook if you let them use the kitchen. This will distract them from school problems and relax. Also, now is the time for them to learn how to distribute money for food and plan weekly meals. Let them try new flavors and combinations. Also, enjoy a complete meal they cook for you!
Linda is an amateur cook who spent many years practicing her skills to perfection. Because of her passion for cooking and mission for sharing, she runs a blog with recipes and cooking ideas. If you are interested in more, find it on this link!
Need Help to Teach Kids to Cook?
I have a great resource for you moms! My friend at Kids Cook Real Food teaches some amazing classes to help our kids learn kitchen skills.
Or, try her free knife skills class.
Or here are some snacks kids can make themselves!
You’ll also love this Holiday Baking Challenge she runs every year!
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