Paint Your Food, Please

My three-year-old loves to help me prepare dinner. It makes him feel like a "big kid", but often ends in a mess. I finally figured out a way that he can help that utilizes an age-appropriate skill: painting. I bought a food brush and it's his new kitchen tool. He uses it to paint olive oil onto veggies, marinara onto lasagna, or salsa onto chicken. And he's actually, surprisingly, very helpful with this technique.

What "cooking tasks" do you delegate to your kids?


  1. We rotate whose turn it is to set the table. The person setting the table gets to choose where everyone sits.

    We are kind of in a limbo stage where one of my kids is really capable and able to help out a lot, and the other is not so much. Problem is if the older is helping the younger wants to too, and it can create more drama and mess than help. And, our kitchen is bite size tiny. So...I have a set of wooden vegetables that are attached in pieces with velcro and I will pull out that basket and have them "chop veggies" and "Make salad" for their stuffed animals while I am cooking our dinner. It helps.

  2. Mine also set the table. One does napkins, the other silverware- they know the routine. Of course they love helping me bake. Lining the muffin tins is a perfect job, but they really fight over adding & stirring ingredients. I tried to get Camden to crack an egg the other night, but she wasn't having it.

  3. mine is only 16 months, so she is still rearranging my mixing bowls and "stirring" with the wooden spoon I chuck her way.

  4. When my five were younger I encouraged their messy endeavours,
    They often tried foods they might not have otherwise, or I wouldn't have offered such as raw mushrooms, mussels, etc.Okay, could have used a pressure washer to help with clean up, but they really did internalize all the key points about food, cooking, vitamins, etc.
    They obviously all have different preferences and appetites, but I really see a difference now that they are older ( 10- 20 ) in their awareness of the food chain and health, and they are often encouraging me in wasting less and being more "green". Teens. Empower your kids. You'll get more "freedom" as they get older, and so will they. A key part of responsible parenting I think, and one we are all easily capable of .
    Good Luck and happy drips and splats scraping!!

  5. kristen, you are such an awesome mom. :)


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