Building Self Esteem in the Kitchen

Children are eager to help at a very early age.  They begin to show curiosity when they turn one, too little to help with any success but really interested in doing so. The kitchen in particular is a very interesting place.  All those gadgets, pots, pans, tupperware, running water, it's a treasure trove!  Even though letting them 'help' means everything takes forever (think big mess), the long term effects can be pretty fantastic.

Letting kids help builds a strong sense of community in the home.  But not only that, it builds self esteem and a sense of authentic empowerment, laying down the foundation for the family dynamic.  Allowing your kids to help at an early age sends the message that they are trusted and provide value to the family, teaching them early on that family is about give and take. Chores are exciting to little ones (I know, right?!) and we want to keep that illusion going for as long as possible!

Here are a list of fun things you can have your little ones help with:

-mix ingredients
-add spices
-rinse vegetables or fruit 
-clear/set the table
-stir dressings, sauces, salads
-taste tester!
-put away leftover ingredients
-pour water
-wash/dry dishes
-cutting or stirring on stove top, all possible with plenty of clear instruction and supervision

What do your kids like to help with most in the kitchen?

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