Teaching your child to cook is one of the best gifts you can give them. This life skill gives children the opportunity to use knowledge they have acquired in topics like counting, measuring and following directions, while encouraging problem-solving and creativity.

With safety being a top priority, how involved a child can be in the kitchen will vary greatly from one child to the next and is largely dependent on age and ability. Very young children can start learning skills in the kitchen simply by helping to wash vegetables and mix ingredients. As children grow and motor skills improve, there are many kitchen tasks that can be mastered.

With the opportunity and regular practice, it won’t be long until your junior chef is able to cook some family meals on his/her own (with supervision of course).

With any luck, teaching children skills in the kitchen at an early age will help them to develop a lifelong love of the kitchen and skills they can use throughout their lives. So, put on your aprons, get out your recipe book, and get started today with some of these age-appropriate activities suggested for kids in the kitchen by BBC Good Magazine.

Very Young Children

• Washing Fruits/Vegetables

• Mixing Ingredients

• Mashing

• Sprinkling (flour, cake decorations etc.)

3-5 Year Old’s

• Cutting soft ingredients (butter, mushrooms, etc.)

• Breading and Flouring

• Kneading

• Sieving

• Tearing herbs and lettuce

• Rolling Dough

5-7 Year Old’s

• Grating

• Cutting with a small knife

• Measuring

• Setting the table

• Greasing or lining pans

• Pealing oranges or hard-boiled eggs

8-11 Year Old’s

• Planning a family meal

• Following a simple recipe

• Making salads

• Opening Cans

• Using a microwave

• Finding ingredients in cupboards and fridge