R has been in the kitchen with me since he was in a highchair. It seems like yesterday he was sitting in his highchair, gently rubbing some flour with his chubby baby fingers, but here it is, nearly seven years later in no time at all. Needless to say, R’s abilities and desire to help in the kitchen have changed and progressed a great deal since his first kitchen experiences.
It was during his Winter Break from school that he announced to me, “I have an idea for a recipe I want to cook.”
I replied, “Okay, let’s do it. Why don’t you write down your idea for a recipe (my sneaky way to get him to work on printing) and we’ll make sure we have everything you need.”
So R wrote “small potatoes, bacon and eggs. Cook them all together.”
With a little bit of discussion, we came up with the idea to dice a potato, steam it, put it in a skillet, add two eggs, and top with a slice of crumbed bacon. Nothing like a little collaboration with your 7 year old in the kitchen.
R and I worked together, with him leading the effort to create his first recipe. Except for the dicing of the potato and cooking in the hot skillet, he did the work, and we created:
Look at the pride on his face! This whole process yielded not only a great tasting dish, but confidence in the kitchen that will serve R well into the future.
I challenge you to consider how you can include and involve your little one in the kitchen!