Helpful Little Hands in the Kitchen

By Tiffany McAvoy

CookingTo help my kids develop a healthy relationship with food, I have tried many tips and tricks.

I don’t expect my children to like every type of food, but I do want them to be open to trying new things.

Of all the methods we have tried, the one that has been the most successful is getting them involved in the different stages of the food preparation.

My kids love to explore the aisles of the grocery store looking for new foods to try. After we find something, we research its origin and find different ways to prepare it.

By learning about the food, it takes away the scariness of the unknown.

Allowing the kids to decide how to prepare the food gives them ownership of what they are eating.

Then comes the most exciting, hands-on part – when they get to help in the kitchen to make it into a meal.

It is amazing how much more receptive they are to trying new foods when they have had a hand in selecting, learning about, and preparing the meal.

Getting children involved in the kitchen has many benefits in addition to encouraging them to try new foods:

  • Builds self-confidence and pride
  • Allows them to contribute to the household duties
  • Instills lifelong cooking skills
  • Creates parent/child quality time


So with a little patience and effort, your kids can be your sous chefs and in turn become better eaters that have a healthy relationship with food.


Tiffany McAvoy is the mother to Tristan, 20, Abby, 13, and Tori, 9. She is an elementary school teacher in Madison County and writes about her family’s adventures with food on her blog

Photo: Abby McAvoy in the kitchen