This can be a blessing & a curse.
"Mom, can I help you cook?" is one question I hear a lot.
Sometimes I just want to say no. It gets messy enough when I cook. When I add my kids into the mix, it looks like bomb exploded. However, I try really hard to say yes. Now keep in mind my kids are 8, 6 & 5.
Here are something my kids help with when cooking:
Washing the vegetables/fruit
Adding the flour.
Cracking the eggs. Initially I made them crack the eggs into a bowl. We could pick out any shells. Then we would add the eggs into the recipe & then do it again. Now they are proficient enough (even my 5 year old) to crack & dump the egg directly into the bowl.
Stir the meat or whatever is cooking on the stove.
Roll out their own bread loaves.
Make the cookie dough into balls, and place on the cookie sheet.
Cut up vegetables. (Yes, with a sharp knife).
This is one I initially said no to when they kids asked.
"Mom, can I use the knife & cut up the vegetables?" Then would ask. I said no.
My husband replied, "Why can't they?"
"They might cut themselves." I responded.
"So what? You have been cooking for years & still cut yourself. If they cut themselves they will live & know to be more careful next time." He replied.
He was right. There have been a few cuts over the years, but for the most part they are great.
So yes, cutting up things with sharp knives.
Peel boiled eggs.
Put things in & take them out of the oven.
You get the idea. My kids can do a lot if things to help cook. They are getting pretty good & I am starting to see the benefits.
Take yesterday for example. I was feeding my baby & almost had him asleep. My 5 year old came in & said he wants to make a treat. I inform him I can't help right now.
He informed me, "I've got it."
I hear him find a bowl, open some boxes, find the eggs.
He comes in once to double check on the right measuring cup for water & oil.
He leaves. I hear him mix it. I finally get up & double check to make sure he gets it all mixed.
We have this cute conversation while I double check his work.
Me: "Your good at cooking, do you enjoy it."
My little dude: "Yes. Mom, sometimes I can't find the remote to watch PBS kids, so I watch cooking shows instead." He pauses, "I kind of like them."
He pours it in the pan.
He adds it in the oven. I do watch the clock & make sure they don't burn.
The end result?
We all were able to enjoy delicious brownies & I had to almost nothing.
So yes, some days is hard to let your kids help & some days it is just sweet!