Kids in the kitchen


I believe that involving kids in the cooking process is so important for many reasons - it helps them understand where food comes from, how it's made and the effort that goes into meals, along with teaching self-reliance, confidence, healthy eating habits and future life skills. That in turn helps create gratitude for food, and means a greater likelihood of those veggies being eaten. I think that's a pretty good outcome in exchange for a messy bench top and some pancake mixture squished under my sock. I love this article about teaching kids to be grateful - for food and toys - from

"The two areas I wanted to most impart gratitude: food and play. With food, my kids were horribly picky and wasteful. It was getting out of hand and so I sought help from Susan Roberts, a pediatric occupational therapist and author of My Kid Eats Everything. She told me kids eat horrible diets today because they are just being 'fed'. "It is such a passive process now,” she says. In the past, until about the mid-20th century, kids joined families in the kitchen, helping to prepare food, setting the table, clearing the table, and washing the dishes."

There's also a good article over at Huffington Post; plus 'The Kids Cook Monday' initiative (sister campaign of Meatless Mondays) has some great resources and info about the benefits of kids helping out in the kitchen. Ryder often likes to help out (I say often, it's certainly not always!), and when he does I can see the sense of wonder and pride. And yep, it gets messy. The next step is to involve him in the cleaning up process…

FYI: You may see this beautiful little extra starring in our lives (and photos) from time to time; it's my friend's daughter who we consider an honorary family member.