Kitchen tasks suited to your children
Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 10, 2001
For children, eating ranks near the top with playing as favorite activities.
Take advantage of your child's interest in eating to help him learn more about food.
Working in the kitchen with a parent or alone can help children develop useful life skills such as planning and organizing as well as enhance their motor skills and self-esteem.
It may also encourage fussy eaters to try new foods more readily.
Tailor activities for your child to their development levels.
To give you an idea of appropriate tasks for different age groups, check out the following guidelines:
Wash hands with hot, soapy water before beginning work in the kitchen.
Wash hands, utensils and counters after handling raw meat, poultry or seafood and before handling other foods.
Make sure perishable foods are not out of refrigeration for more than two hours.
Keep kitchen clean.
Wash fruits and vegetables.
Slice soft foods with a table or butter knife (bananas, cooked potatoes).
Get cans from low cabinets.
4- to 5-Year-Olds
Set table with instruction.
Snip herbs for salads or cooking.
Wash and tear lettuce.
Place toppings on pizza or snacks.
6- to 8-Year-Olds
Help plan a meal.
Make a salad.
Find ingredients in cabinet or spice rack.
Shred cheese or vegetables.
Use microwave, blender or toaster oven with instruction.
Roll and shape cookies.
9- to 12-Year Olds
Depending on previous experience, plan and prepare an entire meal.