Pams Prep Kitchen: Cooking with Kids!

Age-Appropriate Cooking Activities Cooking is a great way for kids to learn important kitchen skills that will stay with them for life. Passing down family favourite recipes, teaching them your own tips and tricks and just simply getting them involved in the daily routine of the kitchen is an awesome experience for all ages, especially during the school holidays!
Children at all levels can get involved, just make sure you take note of their maturity and dexterity as this can differ between each individual. Using our Pams Prep Kitchen guide, it’s easy to include your kids in kitchen - and who knows, in no time at all they might be trying new foods and cooking the family dinner on their own!

Ages 2 - 4

Toddlers are a great age group for learning and communicating in the kitchen. They’re interested in what you’re doing and love taking part in new tasks, especially using their hands! This age group does need close supervision and safe cooking equipment such as butter knives and larger bowls for optimal space. Some things your toddler can do:

• Wash fruit and vegetables. Break/tear lettuce, herbs, broccoli and cauliflower into pieces.
• Knead and shape dough.
• Mix, sift and pour ingredients.
• Mash banana for baking.
• Mash avocado to make guacamole.
• Apply spreads to toast and pastry.
• Cut herbs with safe scissors.
• Brushing (or “painting”) oil with a pastry brush.
• Using the rolling pin for dough or puff pastry.
• Whisking together vinaigrettes or sauces.

With your toddlers, try making these banana muffins where you can get them to help mash the banana, measure the ingredients and fill up the muffin cups all on their own! Check out the recipe for our Sugar Free Baby Banana Muffins.

Baby Banana Muffins

Ages 5 – 6

In this age group there is a lot of variation between each individual child and what they can handle in the kitchen. Take note of your little one’s motor skills and you’ll be able to determine what they’re up for when it comes to cooking technique. Ages 5-6 are growing more into their independence, so let them show or tell you! Some things they can do are:

• Use an electric whisk.
• Dicing and mincing vegetables with a butter knife.
• Grating cheese.
• Cracking eggs.
• Peeling raw potatoes, apples, ginger, mango and other fruits and vegetables.
• Slicing and scooping out avocados.
• Greasing pans.
• Using a microplane zester and measuring spoons.
• Forming evenly sized cookies and patties.
• Pouring liquids into small containers and garnishing (or “decorating”) dishes.
• Make simple meals such as salads, sandwiches and fruit kebabs.

Our egg bundles are a great way to get 4 - 6 year old's helping in the kitchen! Get them to crack and whisk the eggs, grate the cheese and chop the vege with a safe butter knife. Just make sure there is an adult handy to help with opening and closing the hot oven. Check out the recipe for our Mini Egg Bundles.

 
Ages 7- 8

Kids around the 7-8 age group have developed their finer motor skills on a more advanced level. They’re focused and can achieve more adult tasks with less supervision. However, make sure you’re always reminding them to watch their fingers when cutting, slicing and grating! Some things this age range can do are:

• Be safely introduced to sharper chef knifes.
• Use toasted sandwich machine and microwave on their own.
• Prove yeast and make dough for bread and pizza.
• Use the kettle on their own.
• Microwave potatoes.
• Learn to cook eggs.

This Cheesy Chicken Quesadilla is the perfect recipe for kids in the 7 – 8 age group, where they can whip the quesadilla up easily and use the toastie machine on their own. Check out the Cheesy Chicken Quesadilla.

 

Ages 9 – 10

From age 9 and above, most children are pretty adept at understanding cooking techniques and learning the skill of the kitchen. They should be able to be left unsupervised (but still with an adult in the house or room) depending on the task, and they can be introduced to using sharper knives and more intricate tools. Just make sure they are aware of the implications of heat and sharp equipment and that they understand food safety and basic kitchen hygiene.

• Introduction to stove top cooking like pan frying and sautéing.
• Microwave meals such as pasta and eggs.
• Use regular knives and most kitchen equipment.
• Make basic pasta sauces.
• Make simple pastry and baking.

Pizza Twists
Get your older ones in the kitchen to whip up these easy pizza twists where they can make them using pre-made pastry, cut them and fold them all by themselves. Check out our Pizza Twists recipe.