Preparing a Young Chefs Kitchen
In order to maximize independence and success in the kitchen, consider creating a family friendly kitchen. Spending a little time to organize the kitchen can save you a world of time and frustration the next time you are in the kitchen. Below we have listed our favorite tools for working in the kitchen with children.
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- Understand the weaning process
- Encourage healthy eating habits
- Avoid the picky eater habit
- Learn to bake with your child
- Inspire your child’s independence in the kitchen
- Choose the right high chair and child-size kitchen tools
- Gain a greater understanding of Montessori theory and how it can support your parenting
We like to start with the right preparation tray. If you are baking and putting out a special activity for that day, consider a large clear acrylic tray that will fit all the baking supplies for that recipe. If you are prepping trays for daily food preparation activities such as spreading bread on butter, slicing fruit, or peeling vegetables, consider purchasing a small tray for each individual activity.
These will live on a shelf in the kitchen and be accessible anytime your child wants to prepare food. The food for these activities can be stored in a bowl on top of the shelf or in the refrigerator.
Small appliances can help aid your child to be independent in the kitchen. They can be stored so they are visible to your child or tucked away and only taken out when needed for a recipe. Small appliances should always be used with adult supervision.
Tools for Cutting and Slicing
Children need real, child-size tools to be successful in the kitchen. When we give them real tools and proper demonstrations and supervision, they are able to prepare their own snacks, contribute to family life through food, and understand the focus and control these activities require.
Tools for Mixing, Measuring, and Baking
Having a set of tools that are just for your child to use that are properly sized can help keep order and simplicity to food preparation. A tool should be used for its intended purpose only. This helps set boundaries for your young child in order to work safely in the kitchen. When a child understands the tools they have available and their intended purpose, they are more able to be independent and successful in completing their tasks.