Kids In The Kitchen—-Start Them Early!!!!!

By DeDe Hausman

I know some people who refuse to teach their kids how to make even a simple sandwich for they don’t want them to mess up the kitchen.  GET REAL!!!!  Allow your young ones to understand how to make tasty and nutritious dishes at an early age and to clean up after themselves.  Have safe utensils handy and be there to oversee.  They will come to love helping at snack and meal times and you can get in plugs about nutrition while working together.  If your school-age kids go to a FUEL UP TO PLAY60 school (it’s a health/wellness school program developed by National Dairy Council and the NFL) then they could possibly test-taste new foods at school and they will want to have them at home too.  Be willing to listen to their new food wants and get them.

Some basic facts to keep in mind when working in the kitchen with kids are:

  • Have all ingredients and utensils on hand.
  • Include steps that are easy for kids to do and not dangerous (NO SHARP KNIVES).  Kids can mix, knead, shape, pour, and cut (with a dull knife).
  • Help them choose recipes/foods with short prep and cooking times such omelets or scrambled eggs, pancakes, sandwiches, and smoothies.
  • Teach them that all cooks need to clean up after themselves and don’t make a big deal about it.  Make it be a natural thing:  cooks clean up their own messes.
  • Let them “invent” their own recipes and make sure you eat what they prepare.
  • If the end product isn’t good, let them be the ones to state that—not you!! And don’t let them get discouraged.  Do you always produce delectable dishes?!!!!
  • Healthy kids eat foods from all 5 food groups.  Encourage them to try recipes that use foods from all the food groups so they learn about good nutrition at an early age.

Want any easy recipe to get your kids started in the kitchen?  Here’s a SMOOTHIE that’s nutritious (has DAIRY and it’s 9 essential nutrients and FRUIT) and tasty that everyone should enjoy.


1 cup reduced fat, low fat or fat free milk

1 cup vanilla low-fat or fat-free yogurt (not frozen yogurt)

2 cups fruit (fresh, frozen or canned-drain the juice)

½ cup ice chunks

Blend in the blender (hold the lid on tight) until you can’t hear any ice chunks.  Makes approximately 4- 8 ounce servings.  Freeze any left-overs to enjoy later.   


LET’S SEE WHAT EASY BUT NUTRITIOUS FOODS YOUR KIDS LOVE TO PREPARE.  Email me those tasty recipes (making them dairy-friendly would be appreciated) and I’ll share as many of them that I can on our blog and/or website so we can help inspire other young kids to learn how to prepare great tasting and nutritious foods in their own kitchens.

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