View Poll Results: What age do you let your kids start cooking, using the kitchen?

7. You may not vote on this poll
  • age 5-7

    3 42.86%
  • age 8-10

    2 28.57%
  • age 10-12

    0 0%
  • age 13-14

    0 0%
  • 14+

    0 0%
  • Mine are too you to learn yet!

    0 0%
  • Never! I can't handle that stress!

    0 0%
  • Other

    2 28.57%
Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Site Administrator Arrived Aandwsmom's Avatar
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    Oct 2010

    Default Weekly Poll: What age do you let your kids start cooking, using the kitchen?

    Home Ec is a big part of homeschooling. Preparing kids for life, teaching them life skills, like sewing, cleaning, car repair, laundry and cooking. I have seen a few posts on homeschool boards lately, wondering what is a good age to start teaching their kids to cook and/or use things like the microwave, stove, knives.
    This can all be dangerous and scary if your child is not ready or you, as the parent is not ready. It is a great question if you are unsure about teaching your kids. My youngest was stronger mentally to listen, follow the rules and take care with his safety around knives and hot things. My oldest didn't learn a lot of these things until he almost an adult. With ADHD, brain isn't geared the same and we just knew there were things he could not handle. What to do in case of emergency. What to do if he cut himself. What to do with a fire.
    So, help out your fellow homeschoolers and tell us what age did you let your kids start cooking and/or using the kitchen?
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  3. #2


    DS started cutting vegetables for me when he was about two years old. He had a plastic knife and a cutting board next to mine. As he got more comfortable with how to cut, he graduated up knives to a butter knife, steak knife/serrated knife to a kitchen knife and a lightweight cleaver. He only cuts vegetables though. I'm always afraid he won't wash his hands clean enough after handling meat.

    For family potlucks, when he was little, he would contribute his own dish--mixed flavors of a jello dessert. He started measuring ingredients for baked goods at about age 7. I started teaching him how to use the stove when he was about 8 years old. Now he knows how to season a cast iron pan and make sandwiches and fry eggs with it. He will flavor the eggs with pepper (lots of it), herbs, butter, sesame oil, shredded cheese, soy sauce. I let him have free reign of the spices and available ingredients because then he can have a sense of how much is too much or too little and what things taste like in combination. While we're eating, we comment on what we taste and how it's working.

    I also teach him how to marinate meat, especially ground meat, and he will form meatballs or dumplings. I don't think it's ever too early to involve kids in the kitchen and food prep. DS is very open-minded about trying new foods, and I think it comes from being involved in the kitchen.
    Homeschooling an only, DS9

  4. #3


    I guess I should have replied "Other" as my kids started helping in the kitchen before age 5. Stirring, mixing, measuring, cleaning,etc.

    Proud to say that as adults, they can cook really decent meals. Now having the motivation to do so is a different story, but that's pretty much true for all of us.

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward

    Daughter (22), a University of Iowa senior triple majoring in English with Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son (21), a Purdue University junior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  5. #4


    My kids were helping cook from the time they could pull up a chair to the counter and help stir or whatever else suited their fancy. So maybe 1.5 - 2 years old? They would also bring me ingredients that were within easy reach for them from the fridge and pantry at that age. So I guess they weren't really cooking but helping in the kitchen at that age.

    At 3 - 4 years old, I start letting them pour their own cereal and use the microwave with supervision plus still helping in the kitchen. They also cut things that can be cut easily with a butter knife.

    Around 5 - 6yo they are pretty proficient at getting their own breakfast and snacks that don't need a lot of prep. They can cook in the microwave with less supervision (they need to ask first but they can do it on their own without me right there the whole time). They can wash dishes with help and are starting to learn how to cook at the stove and bake things though I usually take it in and out of the oven. They can also man the toaster when we make a big breakfast or breakfast for dinner though they usually can't butter it themselves yet.

    Around 7 - 8yo they are starting to cook at the stove and in the oven with supervision instead of help. They are also allowed to cut things with a real knife with supervision for softer things and with help for things like carrots or potatoes or apples.

    From 9 - 12 or so, they can do almost anything in the kitchen with supervision as needed including cook simple meals for the family. I love when I have a few kids in this stage because it means I cook less because they are eager to do it lol! The only off limits things at this point would be my mandolin slicer, the blender and the deep fryer, things that even adults can make one little mistake and end up in the hospital using basically.

    Once they are teenagers, they usually ask once or twice a week if they can cook dinner and usually have kitchen chores that are assigned to them to do unassisted. They can use pretty much any appliance in the kitchen at this point with little to no supervision, just asking first to make sure I don't have something planned already for a meal if they want to cook a meal. My adult kids definitely know their way around the kitchen because it was never off limits to them, they have been learning incrementally since they were babies themselves.

  6. #5


    Maple Hill, my kid seems to be following along the same time line as your kids--which gives me something to look forward to--handing over the reigns!

    I think one of the really great benefits of homeschooling is time to learn life skills alongside academic ones. I remember what lunch was like when DS was in public school. He had half and hour to 45 minutes to wolf down a packed cold lunch, use the bathroom and get some play time in. It was very rushed and many of the lunches would come home half-eaten.
    Homeschooling an only, DS9

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Weekly Poll: What age do you let your kids start cooking, using the kitchen?