It’s been a long day at work. The kids are hungry. You’re hungry.
Every type of food item you could possibly whip up needs some prep. No frozen pizza or tacos in a box tonight.
It’s already late, and you’re thinking dinner won’t be ready for at least an hour or more.
Perhaps you’re overlooking something, SuperMom (or SuperDad): what about those lovely children of yours?
If they’re old enough to eat on their own, and old enough to complain about being hungry, they’re certainly old enough to enter the ranks of your neighborhood’s master sous chefs.
So, work with them to get dinner done in record time and teach them valuable culinary skills in the process!
Don’t Feel Bad
We should say that before you start to feel bad about putting your youngins’ to work, realize the vast majority of children will love that you’re asking them to help.
And don’t forget to involve your kids in the pre-planning whenever time permits.
Bring them shopping, clip coupons, read labels, pick out fruits and vegetables, maybe even have them purchase a few items of their own if they’re earning an allowance.
The key is to involve them early and often. Now, put ‘em to work!
Most kids who can put a utensil in their mouth can do any of these things:
Eggs, garlic, corn, shrimp, bananas, oranges, grapefruit
Herbs, spaghetti, foil, parchment, twine, tape
Any citrus fruit using a plastic juicer, or simply juice through their fingers (Yeah!)
Use Kitchen Accoutrements
Pastry brush, whisk, potato masher, pizza cutter, kid-safe lettuce knife
Mash anything with a fork (bananas, potatoes, egg salad)
Mashed potatoes, cookie dough, salad dressings
Measuring, setting the table, rolling out dough and reading out the recipe to you!
We’re indebted to the wonderful sites below for most of the specific ideas in this article.
So, for more specific guidelines based on the age of our own little ones, we love these age-by-age breakdowns by Clemson University, the University of California, and TheKidsCookMonday.com