Kids cooking: food for thought

Young girl cooking
Early years 3-6 years

When you prepare food together, your child learns many things, such as how to measure, how to work with ingredients, and how cooking changes one form into another. It also teaches them about contributing to an everyday activity—making food.


Ask your child to help measure out various ingredients. It will give them a practical understanding of numbers and measurement. For example, show them the difference between a tablespoon and a teaspoon and compare sizes.

Fine motor skills

Give your child some cooking processes to perform such as sifting to improve their fine motor skills. If you’ve got bigger children helping, you could ask them to cut fruit or vegetables.

Healthy food

Discuss the importance of healthy food choices with your child—you can talk about healthy options. Talk about the process the food has gone through from paddock to plate. It may also make them more willing to explore new foods.


Talk your child through the cooking process, such as why the butter is melting and how the water in the pot boils. These are early science concepts in everyday settings.

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