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We have always been questioned by parents on this. And our answer: YES, they can.
Our personal experience
At around 30 months, our own child started wanting to ‘help out’ in the kitchen. We decided to take advantage of his interest by letting him help with things like stirring and spooning. Though hesitant initially, and wanting to clean away every bit of food dirt from his hands, we saw how this changed by the third time, where he began to understand that it’s alright to get dirty, as it can be washed away later. Not only did this kept him entertained, but it also allows us to get on with our business of cooking, a win-win for both.
No one expects children to stay neat and tidy all the time, or to escape a few scraped knees or bruises in the playground. So why does the idea of getting young children involved in cooking sound impossibly messy, dangerous or just too much effort?
At three years old children are learning about the world around them through unstructured play, and getting stuck in with both hands. Cutting them off from the kitchen can limit their skills, taste and diets for years to come. But with an open mind and a few bits of safe equipment, little children can begin to enjoy food and cooking at this crucial time.
Kids are capable
We tend to underestimate what young children can do. They love the feeling of squashing, crushing and mashing, and the sound of stirring and mixing. Beyond the sheer joy of getting messy in the kitchen, kids relish having a little control – especially over what they eat. We have seen parents being very ‘helpful’ in trying to help their child stir and mix. Our advise – Parents, LET IT GO! Your little one is more than capable of doing it. Just watch and be amazed.