Holiday cooking in the kitchen with kids

Prepare wonderful holidays foods and develop lasting memories cooking with kids this holiday season.

During the holidays, the preparation of special cookies or breads, holiday candy or other foods can develop special memories to last a lifetime. Michigan State University Extension encourages you to try cooking with kids, as it is a wonderful way to spend time together as a family, help spark your child’s interest in new foods and during the holidays, develop family traditions that can last for years to come.

When cooking with children it is important to remember to find tasks that are age appropriate for their skill level. Cooking with kids can be used to teach healthy eating and nutrition to your kids as well as math and science concepts. Talking with your child about the various food groups on MyPlate, measuring ingredients and even preparing a grocery shopping list for recipe ingredients are all tasks that help your child learn about health and nutrition, basic cooking skills, meal planning and budgeting.

A critical area to focus on with kids when cooking is the importance of proper hand washing before preparing food and during the food preparation process. All food preparers, no matter what their age need to pay close attention to proper hand washing practices before preparing food. Hands should be washed for at least 20 seconds before handling food. Teach your children to sing the ABC song to be sure they are washing long enough to kill germs.

So what are some jobs kids can help do when baking or preparing special holiday dishes? Here are a few ideas:

  • Creating a grocery shopping list
  • Organizing ingredients before baking
  • Measuring dry ingredients
  • Measuring liquid ingredients
  • Stirring batters
  • Rolling out cookie dough
  • Frosting and decorating cookies or cakes
  • Cutting out cookie shapes with cookie cutters 

Spending time with your kids in the kitchen is great family time during the year, but during the holidays using this opportunity to create long lasting family memories will be priceless to you and your child.

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