“Influenced, perhaps, by my early experience at a Montessori school… I am all for encouraging children to work productively with their hands…. It is good to give them knives, for instance, as early as you dare…. to slice a hard-boiled egg neatly and then to fillet a fish. Talk to children as you plan menus. Let their small, sensitive noses sniff the fish as you shop.”
—Julia Child, Julia Child & Company
Julia Child encouraged children as young as four years old to fillet fish! But, don’t worry – you can start small and work up to such gourmet endeavors. Young children have a keen desire to participate in everyday family life and love to help in the kitchen. With your guidance they can learn to do so much: preparing snacks and meals, serving, and cleaning up are fun activities that support your child’s growing independence and contribute to the family’s well-being.
The Child-Friendly Kitchen
A child-friendly kitchen includes a low table and chair for eating or working and a low cupboard equipped with child-size dishes, flatware, cooking equipment, and non-perishable food. Reserve a low shelf in the refrigerator for a container with prepared snacks such as cheese and apple slices, and a child-size pitcher of milk or juice. Show your child how to safely grasp, carry, and pour from the pitcher with two hands. Continue reading