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Cooking with Kids
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Let's cook up some fun! And science! And social studies! Bringing kids into the kitchen has all these benefits, and more. And with a few simple strategies, putting your sous chef to work can be rewarding for you, too.
Designate her work space with a baking sheet. It's a fact: Your child will spill. Have her do as much as possible on a jelly-roll pan to (mostly) contain the mess.
Go slow(ish). Give him one instruction at a time, and involve him in only one dish at a time. It's less chaotic and helps him see the outcome of his work.
Most kids are so happy to be allowed to help, they will listen very carefully. Still, it's easy for them to get so excited they rush to the next step. That's why Anne Grissinger often hauls out an official-looking recipe when she's cooking with her 5-year-old. “A recipe is a fun way to reinforce the importance of following directions,” says the New York City mom. “When we had to start all over because John didn't listen, he learned an important lesson.”