Healthy Children - October 2015

Kitchen Activities

Get your preschooler to try new foods by having them help you in the kitchen. Kids feel good about doing something "grown-up." Give them small jobs to do. Praise their efforts. Children are less likely to reject foods that they help to make.

As preschoolers grow, they are able to help out with different tasks in the kitchen. While the following suggestions are typical, children may develop these skills at different ages.

At 2 years:

Wipe tables

Hand items to adult to put away (such as after grocery shopping)

Place things in trash

Tear lettuce or greens

Help "read" a cookbook by turning pages

Make "faces" out of pieces or fruits and vegetables

Rinse vegetables or fruits

Snap green beans

At 3 years:

All that a 2-year-old can do, plus:

Add ingredients

Talk about cooking

Scoop or mash potatoes

Squeeze citrus fruits

Stir pancake batter

Knead and shape dough

Name and count foods

Help assemble a pizza

At 4 years:

All that a 3-year-old can do, plus:

Peel eggs and some fruits, such as oranges and bananas

Set the table

Crack eggs

Help measure dry ingredients

Help make sandwiches and tossed salads

At 5 years:

All that a 4-year-old can do, plus:

Measure liquids

Cut soft fruits with a dull knife

Use an egg beater
Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion