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Cooking with the Kids

Updated: Jun 15, 2020

Family is so very important to me. I love to attend sporting events as a family. I love to travel as a family. I love to do everything as a family even cooking! 

I’ve always invited my kids into the kitchen with me regardless of their age. Practice makes perfect and after a few cooking sessions together, you’ll have your own in-house sous chefs! Here are a few tips for different age groups.

2-year-olds can:

• Wipe tabletops

• Wash fruits and vegetables

• Tear lettuce or greens

• Break cauliflower or broccoli into pieces

• Carry ingredients from one place to another

3-year-olds can:

• Knead and shape dough

• Mix or pour ingredients

• Shake liquids in a covered container to mix them

• Apply soft spreads

• Put things in the trash

4-year-olds can:

• Peel oranges or hard-boiled eggs

• Mash bananas or cooked beans with a fork

• Cut parsley and green onions with kid-safe scissors

• Set the table

5 to 7year-olds can:

• Measure ingredients

• Use an egg beater

8- to 9-year-olds can:

•Use a pizza cutter 

•Work can opener

•Pound chicken

•Skewer food

•Use toaster 

•Use microwave

10- to 12-year-olds can:

•Use a chef’s knife 

•Preheat oven(with adult supervision)

•Use air fryer 

13-year-olds and up can:

•Place things in oven

•Use electric skillet

•Use blender

•Cop items on cutting board 

Now that everyone knows their roles, Here 10 tips on how to get them excited about cooking!

10. Take them grocery shopping with you. Shop at stores that pass out samples. It’s a treat for hungry shoppers and also a great way to get picky eaters to try new foods.

9. Look through cookbooks and recipe websites together. Have the kids choose a few recipes they would like to try making.

8. Have the kids take inventory of what you already have at home and make a list of thing they need 

7. Before leaving the house, give kids their own reusable shopping bags so they can help pack groceries at the end of the trip. Team work makes the dream work!

6. Have them grab their own basket or Cart and make them responsible for gathering the ingredients for their recipe. You could add mathematics by giving them a budget to stay within.

5. Have the kids try to read as many words as possible on packaging, making a game out of it.Afford them their own kid friendly tools. So when they go into the kitchen they have their own special mixing spoon or child proof knife to grab which makes them excited to use and puts you at ease.

4. Decorate plain aprons the kids will be excited to wear their aprons while cooking and take ownership of the meal they make.

3. Start an indoor garden with your child and plant frequently used herbs like basil and parsley. They will be do proud to use them in their recipes.

2.Have the kids help unpack the groceries and put them up where they belong 

1. Give them the task of choosing which plate or dish out of the cupboard their recipe would look best in. Presentation is everything!

I will admit we get a lil head start on 80% of our baking. When you are a busy mom time is of the essence. We tend to use box mixes and tweak it by alternating a few of the ingredients with our own preferences to give it that homemade taste. Here is one example where we take a box mix, add sour cream and our go to alternative for oil, Butter flavored Crisco baking sticks.

Easy Cupcakes with Rainbow swirl 


  • 1 box (15.25 oz) cake mix (NOT one with pudding added in the mix)

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/2 cup whole milk

  • 1/3 cup Crisco Butter flavored Baking stick 


  • Heat oven to 280*

  • Spray whatever pan you are using with cooking spray. You can make this in a 9x13 baking pan, 2 9" round cake pans, bundt pan, or 24 cupcakes. If making cupcakes I would use cupcake liners instead.

  • In a mixing bowl combine the dry cake mix, sour cream, eggs, milk, and crisco. Blend together until well combined but be sure to not over mix. 

  • Pour into the baking dish and cook according to the package instructions on the back of the boxed cake mix. 

Once cupcakes have cooled completely frost proceed with frosting. 

Rainbow Frosting 

  • 1 1/2 C unsalted butter

  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 4 1/2 C powdered sugar

  • 4 1/2 Tbsp heavy cream

  • gel colors 

In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, followed by one cup of powdered sugar at a time. Scrape bowl as needed. Slowly add 1 tablespoon of heavy cream at a time until fully incorporated and desired consistency is reached.

Separate the icing into three bowls. Add drop of gel color and mix. Add more if necessary or even mix gels until desired color is received.

For the rainbow effect follow the directions on the package of this Wilton Color Swirl Coupler. 

Thank you so much for visiting our blog. If you are inspired to make this recipe please be sure to tag Joys of Lyfe we would love to see it.

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