Now, I too have written close to those very same words, as there are studies that suggest when kids have a hand in growing or preparing food, they are more likely to try it and like it.
But what if they don’t WANT to help you in the kitchen? (Note, this is an OLD photo of M helping me with beans…)
This afternoon I was prepping for dinner, and I asked M if she wanted to help me get the green beans ready. (A favorite.) She said, “No thanks, but I’ll give you a kiss?” It was so cute. “I said, “OK, I’ll take it!” and she planted one on my cheek and was off to play Legos, or Nintendo, I’m not really sure
So it’s just one more thing for moms to feel pressure over and guilty about, and inevitably to pressure kids with. “You WILL help me make dinner, you will learn to cook and you will like it!”
If little Susie doesn’t want to cook, trying to force her will turn her off more. (Hmm, kind of like the Division of Responsibility…) I offer and make it safe for her to help. I have a stool, I have child-friendly knives, I make it pleasant, but if she says “no,” I stay neutral and respect it. In the meantime, while she’s having a snack after school, I often take that time to sit with her with a cup of tea and chop veggies for dinner, so she see me chopping leeks, carrots and mushrooms for the pasta sauce, or watches how I shred potatoes for the potato pancakes.
As my mom said about me when I was too busy or fidgety to cook, “She likes to eat, she’ll learn to cook!” In the meantime, I keep offering, and as she gets older, I might need to get a bit more directive, but we’ll figure that out when we get to it! (She’s five now, and readers have written in in the past how their teens are responsible for one dinner a week, which I love!)
Do your kids like to help in the kitchen? (Go ahead, make me jealous!)