Many families cook elaborate meals for the upcoming holidays. Children can help with holiday cooking and meal preparation too. It can be a fun-filled family event for everyone! These tips can help make the experience as seamless as possible.
Prepare in advance
Look at the recipe ahead of time and find jobs that would work well for each of your children based on their age and abilities. Children with more patience and longer attention spans can assist with longer tasks such as whisking or cutting shapes with cookie cutters. Children with short attention spans could help pour an ingredient into the bowl or bring over a kid-safe utensil, such as a mixing spoon or spatula.
Safety should be a top priority
There are many potentially dangerous situations in the kitchen. It is essential that you are vigilant, especially with younger children, and make it clear what they can and cannot do. A kitchen safety demonstration can be helpful. You can remind children not to touch knives, peelers, and other sharp utensils, hot pans, electric beaters, and anything near the stove or oven.
Be sure that children are in the right mood to cook
It’s important to ensure that children are well-rested and are not hungry when they are helping with the holiday cooking. Tired and hungry children will get frustrated easily.
Appropriate tasks for very young children
If you have a very young child you could assign them the task of “kitchen patrol.” This child can collect all the used utensils and non-fragile dishes and put them in the sink. They could also be your helper and assist with various tasks as you are cooking.
Creative children can help decorate and create place cards and decorations for each table setting. Some children may prefer not to help in the kitchen but they can still contribute to preparing for the holiday meal.
If you are going to allow your children to help, try to be flexible and have a positive attitude. Things may not always go the way you planned it and there may be more of a mess at the end but you are making lasting memories.
Enjoy the holiday season!
Children can be a big help around the holidays. Not only can they help with meal preparation, they can help decorate the house and make guests feel welcome. They will be excited to contribute to the holiday festivities!
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