Ready for Your Kids to Take Over the Kitchen?

It is time to get those kid-friendly recipes out and aprons on because September 13th is National Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day!

Never heard of it?

It is a wonderful concept—a time to invite children and teens into the family kitchen to start cooking.

(Warning: adult supervision is advised!)

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The idea for this event comes from the Young Chefs Academy whose goal is to empower and inspire children by showing them the magic of planning, preparing and cooking a meal.

A fun day with a serious purpose.

The hope is that by helping to prepare meals, children will become more interested in nutrition and healthful eating habits from an early age.

Several studies have shown that getting kids involved in food preparation can increase preference for nutritious foods like vegetables and improve self-efficacy for making healthful eating choices.

While having kids cooking in the kitchen might be a bit messy, it will be well worth it.

Food preparation skills are important at any age but getting your kids on the right path when they are young is a true gift.

What Is the Best Way to Introduce Kids to Cooking?

Teaching your kids how to cook does not need to be complicated or include formal lessons.

Kids of all ages can help in the kitchen.

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And while a lot of parents believe the ‘best’ time to teach kids is when they enter their teenage years, you can definitely start earlier.

In fact, sometimes the young children are ‘natural’ chefs because they are open to experimentation and less afraid to make mistakes.

To introduce your kids to cooking, begin by asking them to help with basic tasks like tossing a salad, stirring a sauce or gathering ingredients.

For the really little ones, even just watching can be a learning experience!

By the time they are 10 or so, they will have the motor skills to participate in almost every element of cooking.

The key is to start slow and add responsibilities as their skills deepen.

As Jamie Oliver—one of the most famous proponents of kids in the kitchen—advises, “If kids are involved in growing and cooking food, then they’re far more likely to eat it…Start them young, just tearing up fresh herbs, bashing up spices or even squishing fruit and they’ll be well on the way to being healthier young people.”

All the Reasons Why Kids Should Be in the Kitchen

Teaching kids to cook at a young age is a good idea because it will…

  1. mint leavesGive them a head start on cooking healthfully—an essential life skill that is also fun.
  2. Build self-confidence, self-worth, and self-pride.
  3. Foster healthful eating habits and a taste for fresh, wholesome ingredients.
  4. Provide the whole family with an excellent way to spend time together and deepen bonds.
  5. Encourage discussions about nutrition, planning meals and making smarter food choices.
  6. Teach them practical skills such as counting, mathematics, budgeting, measuring, weighing, problem-solving, hand-eye coordination, science, tracking time, sharing, communicating, and learning about other cultures.
  7. Create positive, enjoyable memories that are linked to nutritious food and eating together with the family.

How to Celebrate National Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day

Author Dreena Burton and Cocoa Cookie Dough BallsKids Take Over the Kitchen Day is a fun learning experience that will bring your family closer together.

Not to mention that it could very well set your children up for a lifetime of positive eating habits.

Who knows, you may end up having a new recruit in the kitchen to assist you on a daily basis!

To help you celebrate, we have selected a kid-friendly recipe for Cocoa Cookie Dough Balls.

Children and adults will both love this yummy plant-based dessert!

Have fun preparing it, and Happy Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day!