Cooking With Kids: Small Steps Towards Cooking Independently

Although we have involved Immy in the kitchen since she was small, Dad 101 and I have been recently looking for recipes that provide her with the opportunity to take more ownership and responsibility for overseeing the entire cooking process and to learn to respect rather than fear some of the more cautionary elements in the kitchen – like using knives and cooking on the stove.

We have started off with a simple ham and cheese omelette, a fabulous beginner’s recipe that involves a number of kitchen processes that are perfectly manageable for a five year old – beating, slicing, grating and frying.

cooking with kids recipe and kitchen safety tips

Lightly beating the eggs and a little milk with a fork.

cooking with kids recipe and kitchen safety tips

Waiting for the pan to heat up and a little butter to melt, all ingredients prepared and ready.

cooking with kids recipe and kitchen safety tips

The eggs are in. Then the ham and cheese added.

cooking with kids recipe and kitchen safety tips

The lid goes on until the egg is mostly set. Then a helping hand from Mum or Dad to flip the omelette for a few seconds. Ta-da! Breakfast is served.

I have a feeling that ham and cheese omelettes might just be appearing on the menu at our house on Easter morning!

How are you helping your child to learn to cook independently? Do you have a simple recipe to share that works well for budding junior chefs?


  1. When I was an early childhood teacher years ago I used to cook a lot with my kids. Aside from the things that the kids learn from cooking like science and math if you show them as you work with them, I used to make written/pictorial recipes. The kids learned so much from these recipes. Pre reading skills like sight words and word recognition, direction following, fractions, etc.
    In my early years of teaching a mentor of mine took me to a wonderful early childhood, public school (believe it or not) where they had an entire corner set up where the children would cook by themselves.All the utensils were labelled, everything was child friendly and it was the most amazing thing to see. Cooking really has so many benefits to doing it with children especially if you prepare for it.

  2. My 4 yo and her best friend love to cook. We have many Friday afternoon cooking dates and each one of them have their favorite recipes. To make things easier, I’ve started to draw a series of illustrated recipes. They are all very easy to do and are all baked, since I still don’t trust them to use the stove. The drawings are not totally ready yet and they are in Portuguese (we are Brazilians). I’d be glad to share one with you, but I don’t know how to attach a file… 🙂

  3. Christie,
    I have a good book, The Cooking Book by Laura J. Colker, that you might like. She writes a lot of books for educators and I got this book when I was in school.

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