Skip to Content

5 Reasons Why You Should Cook With Your Kids

Cooking with your kids can seem like a daunting task… I mean cooking already makes enough of a mess, right? Here are my top 5 Reasons Why You Should Cook with Your Kids! Hopefully these reasons will encourage you to give it a try!

I started to cook with my kids regularly once they were about 2 years old. The things I have noticed have made me super excited to get out and share this with other moms. Even if you don’t think you are great in the kitchen your kids will still think you are a rock star!

kids making Protein Packed Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies
Making delicious cookies!

Reason #1: It’s fun!

I don’t know about your kids, but my kids love to play with their food. And if you’re anything like me you don’t love constantly telling them to stop.

Letting them cook with you gives them the opportunity to play with their food in a time that’s appropriate. I’ve noticed a cut-down in play in the nights I have my kids cook with me versus the nights they don’t. They will still go through times where they insist on playing but it is a way for younger kids to explore. For a long time when my daughter was 2 years old everything was turned into a “castle” — we were a little obsessed with Frozen at that time.

kids pressing dough in pan to make a Cookie Cake
Pressing out cookie dough for this recipe!

Reason #2: Their taste in food may expand!

Most young kids are all about the chicken nuggets and mac and cheese. If yours aren’t, then you are lucky! I started to see my kids try more of the foods they were cooking that they normally would have rolled their eyes at.

My youngest was eating raw zucchini the other day and I wasn’t about to complain. Now, I’m not going to promise they like everything but they at least try it with much less of a fight. Sometimes, they have even eaten an entire serving of vegetables before we sit down for dinner.

Cooking with picky eaters may be what you need to start a big change in their eating habits. Kids are proud of what they create so this should lead to more openness around trying what they make.

Don’t forget that sometimes a child needs to be exposed more than 15 times to a food to be willing to try it! Keep giving them foods you want them to try even if they don’t right away.

girl chopping green olives for a past salad
Chopping ingredients for Italian Pasta Salad!

Reason #3: Cooking is a life skill!

Regardless of what your child decides to do when they grow up, cooking is a skill that will never go unused. Plus, by knowing how to cook it is much easier to make healthier choices.

Cooking also gives them a chance to work on their motor skills and hand eye coordination. Watching them figure out how to do things like crack eggs and chop foods is so much fun!

kids stirring the blueberries into batter for blueberry muffins
Time for muffins!

Reason #4: They can learn where their food comes from and what it does for their body!

Kids are curious and they ask lots of questions so this part comes naturally. My oldest likes to ask to buy different foods at the grocery store every once in a while and then we try something new and learn about it.

It also gives you the opportunity to teach them what foods are good for their body and what they do… like how carrots help your vision. Not sure what different foods help with? Search it in google and learn together!

boy stirring a pot on the stove to melt butter
Making the sauce for Mac and Cheese!

Reason #5: Cooking gives kids a sense of accomplishment and pride!

My kids love to watch how their foods change through cooking and trying the end result. If your kids love science experiments or crafts they are sure to enjoy cooking as well. And cooking is even better because you can eat it when you’re done!

kids breading chicken and placing on a pan

Recipes for Cooking with Kids

Here are some of my kids favorite recipes that are on the blog. Give one of these a try next time you want to cook with your kids:

Breakfast: Banana Bread, Peanut Butter Honey Muffins, Very Berry Blueberry Muffins, Pumpkin Pancakes, Banana Scones

Snacks: Pear Pumpkin Applesauce, Homemade Pop Tarts, Mango Pear & Spinach Smoothie

Lunch or Dinner: Macaroni and Cheese, Chicken Marbella, Sausage Casserole, Lemon Chicken Orzo, Italian Pasta Salad, Turkey Sloppy Joes, Citrus Chicken Pasta, Homemade Chicken Tenders

Desserts: Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars, S’mores French Toast Casserole, Snickerdoodles, Reindeer Poop Cookies, Chocolate Pretzel Bark, Buttercream Frosting

Kitchen Tools and Resources for Kids

Wondering what tools your kids can use with you in the kitchen? Here are a few of my personal favorites that we use a lot! Kid Safe Knives, Kid Sized Cutting Boards, Chef Caddy Collection, Cupcake Decorating Kit. All of our favorite cooking tools can be found in our Amazon store.

I hope you venture into the kitchen with your kids for the first time or continue to bring them with you! Please share with us your comments, successes, and kitchen bloopers.

Stay tuned for some more tips on how to include your kids in the kitchen in age-appropriate ways! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see our day-to-day fun!

5 reasons why to cook with your kids

For a behind the scenes look at Return to the Kitchen, be sure to follow us on InstagramFacebookYouTubeTikTok and Pinterest! Also, if you make this recipe or any of our recipes be sure to tag us @returntothekitchen!

This post was originally published February 13, 2019 and updated on July 5, 2021.