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Holiday Cooking with Kids

Maryam Malekian • MS, Registered Dietitian • Dec 12, 2010

holiday eating healthy foods for children

The holidays are a time of fun and celebration, however with all the added festivities, it can also create stress. This season try holiday cooking with the kids. Bringing the kids in the kitchen is a great way to create some special family togetherness time. You might be surprised to learn how fun cooking with the kids really can be. They are eager little helpers! Kids will also benefit from forming some solid skills that will help them in school. We are excited to share some easy tips to cooking with kids in the kitchen and some easy kids Christmas recipes to try!

Picky Eaters Benefit From Holiday Cooking

Having fun experiences with food in the kitchen allows children to become more open minded towards trying new foods, and ultimately develop healthier food choices. Have a picky eater? The more children are involved with food preparation, the more likely they are to try new foods. The trick to picky eaters is to pique their interest about different foods so they become so curious they want to try it.
Here are some ways to involve kids in the holiday preparation:
  • Kids can help come up with the menu
holiday cooking with kids healthy foods
  • Let them help create the grocery shopping list and write down the names of the foods. Here is a printable holiday grocery list categorized by food group.
  • Have the kids help pick the fresh produce and find items on the list
  • Have the kids help compare a few food labels when selecting canned or packaged goods.
  • Kids can help wash the fresh fruits and vegetables. Play a game guessing their names as they are taken out of the grocery bag
  • Have kids help in age appropriate cooking activities in the kitchen. Children can help with measuring and mixing ingredients.  Here is a list of cooking activities younger kids can help with. Little ones can watch while you explain the different steps of your holiday recipe. Maybe share some family memories of your own!.
  • Children can help put fresh fruits and vegetables on platters.
  • Kids can help set the table.
  • Let them name their dish for a fun bonus. They will love creating a special name like “Andy’s Green Gooey Gravy”.
  • Children can help decorate the table with cute holiday decorations.
  • Kids should also help in the clean up after cooking. Make it a little game. Each person can count the number of foods and kitchen items they put away. Or they try to find a rhyming word to go with the item being put away. Before you know it, the kitchen is clean and everyone had fun!

During the holiday season, it can seem like everyone is running in different directions.  Cooking with kids during the holiday season gives you both time to step away from the hectic season and have fun together.  It provides family togetherness time that offers time to talk with your children about their world, school and social experiences.  It is provides family bonding time.Having children take an active role in food preparation gives them hands on experience in basic cooking skills and a positive start in learning to make healthier food choices.

This holiday season stir up some fun memories with your little ones! Have fun creating wonderful scents that will fill the kitchen and your child’s heart. Shopping, baking and cooking together will make this holiday season a truly memorable event for the whole family filled with the spirit of sharing experiences. Happy and Healthy Holidays!










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Written by Maryam MalekianWritten on Dec 12, 2010Last updated on Aug 23, 2013




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