Barista Kids Poll: When Should Kids Start Cooking?

BY  |  Monday, Aug 27, 2012 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (7)

My daughters, thankfully, are hot on cooking. So recently I handed them a paring knife and some oven mitts. They know how to cut strawberries and kiwis. They pull the strings out of snap peas and saute them in butter on our behemoth gas stove that scares the sugar out of me.

They’re 6 and a half. Geez. They should be making Summer Thai Noodle Salad by now. Anyway, I started out watching them very closely. But as they get more practice, I give them more independence (i.e. I can check my email while they work). We’re learning how to boil hot dogs next.

Now if they’d just do the dishes.

What age do you plan to let your kids start cooking? Take our poll…


  1. POSTED BY pamplemousse  |  August 27, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

    I remember when I was a kid, being appalled that a fellow 8-year old could not boil water. Kudos, Kristen, for getting the kids started young!

  2. POSTED BY Georgette Gilmore  |  August 27, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

    I cook often with my girls, especially my 5 year old who loves it. But I don’t feel comfortable with them using knives (other than a butter knife) or actually touching the stove.

    They crack open eggs, whisk, measure and season, but that’s it so far.

  3. POSTED BY Holly Korus  |  August 27, 2012 @ 6:19 pm

    I started them both at 3 or 4. They can stir on the stove if I’m right there.

    Having a child read a recipe is a great way for them to learn new words and fractions.

    Here are some great knives for kids:

  4. POSTED BY Georgette Gilmore  |  August 27, 2012 @ 6:48 pm

    Love those knives Holly! I’m going to order a set today.

  5. POSTED BY Holly Korus  |  August 27, 2012 @ 8:11 pm

    A very smart woman coined a phrase…now what was it again? “Just ask….”???

  6. POSTED BY Georgette Gilmore  |  August 27, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

    I am a very smart women.

  7. POSTED BY Kristin  |  August 27, 2012 @ 9:02 pm

    Not mine. We’re waiting for around eight for the hot and sharp stuff. I see how they lean over the sink when on a stool now, and I don’t want them leaning like that over boiling pasta water. Once they get their centers of gravity settled and learn to believe me that bubbled up skin filled with pus really hurts, they can cook more.

    For now, they stir, add milk/water/oil, and sprinkle cheese on stuff. Oh, and they spread sandwich fillers with regular table knives. But the bread knives and sharp stuff is not something I want them to have quite yet.

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