Getting your kids in the kitchen is a great opportunity to bond with them and teach important skills that they can utilize the rest of their lives. The problem is, it can be hard to give up control and ignore the inevitable mess. Maybe the measuring will be off and your cake might have a few eggshells in it, but the important thing to remember is that your kids are learning and the more they do the better they’ll get. Before you know it, they could be whipping you up some five-star cuisine!

To get you started, here are some basic guidelines for age appropriate tasks.

2 – 5 Years
Basic concepts perfect for short attention spans.
Measuring ingredients
Pouring ingredients into a bowl
Mixing up batter in a bowl
Cutting soft foods with a dull knife
Washing and straining fruits and veggies
Mashing foods
Using cookie cutters

6 – 8 Years
Beginning to read can mean more responsibility, like reading a cook book.
Improved coordination means using sharper utensils or maybe even the stove – with supervision, of course!
Mixing cookie dough or brownie batter
Whisking eggs
Rolling out cookie dough or pie crusts
Grating cheese or other foods
Cutting foods with sharper utensils
Frosting cupcakes or icing cookies
Melting foods in the microwave
Boiling pasta
Frying eggs or grilled cheese

9 – 12 Years
Now you can follow recipes and prepare dishes!
Slicing veggies
Baking breads and muffins
Making pancakes or waffles
Working with timers and thermometers
Placing foods in the oven and removing them
Using specialty appliances, like a panini press
Frying certain foods
Using a mixer or blender

13 – 16 Years
Parents, sit back and enjoy!
Using all kitchen appliances
Efficiently chopping or slicing foods
Baking more complicated items
Marinating foods
Using a grill
Deep frying foods