Get Kids Cooking: Meal Prep For Every Age

kids cooking


Teaching your kids to be in the kitchen from early on can benefit them in the long run. Learning the basic skills and providing help to their families will give them the skills they need to take over those responsibilities when they have families of their own. There’s always something for everyone to do, no matter what age they are.

Check out these skills that are categorized according to their school age:



  • Washing fruits and vegetables: You can use this as an opportunity for them to learn all about the different kinds of fruits and vegetables while prepping.
  • Stirring ingredients: Grab a spoon and let them stir together some dry ingredients.
  • Mashing potatoes: They’ll love smashing those cooked (but cooled!) potatoes with a potato masher.
  • Sprinkling: Let them add the finishing touches by sprinkling decorations or icing sugar on your finished desserts or have them sprinkle the flour to your baking pans.
  • Spooning ingredients: Pre-measure for them and let them add it to the mix.


Get your little one to help you make this healthy Raspberry Almond Granola.



  • Measuring spoons: let them practice their measuring skills by teaching them the different sizes between teaspoons and tablespoons.
  • Cutting with a strong plastic knife: Cut soft ingredients like butter, strawberries or bananas.
  • Mixing: Using hands or a spoon, teach them how to blend those ingredients.
  • Tearing: Tearing up the lettuce makes for easy prep work for a simple salad.
  • Kneading: This can be hard work, but they can get the process started by working the dough a bit.
  • Cookie cutting: Using plastic cookie cutters, get them to cut out their favourite shapes.
  • Spreading: Have them ice a cake or butter a slice of bread.


Get those little fingers working to make these delicious Pizza Rolls.



Elementary School

  • Cutting using a small knife: Teach them how to use the claw technique when cutting to avoid cutting their fingers. Use easy ingredients to cut, like cucumbers.
  • Grating: Teach them to grate cheese while watching closely. Let them stop once their fingers get close.
  • Measuring: This can be done with less supervision as they get older and have learned reading and math skills.
  • Greasing/lining a cake pan or cookie tray
  • Putting together sandwiches
  • Peeling hard boiled eggs (once cooled)
  • Setting the table
  • Meal planning
  • Gathering ingredients for recipes
  • Stirring soups
  • Flipping things like eggs, grilled cheese sandwiches, and pancakes


Who’s up for a sandwich? Try this recipe for a Steak Sandwich and get your child working on those sandwich-making skills.


Middle School

  • Food hygiene –Washing hands at the beginning and in between touching raw and ready-to-eat ingredients.
  • Recognizing kitchen equipment and learning how to use it (for example, the blender, electric mixer, rice cooker, or microwave).
  • Reading and following recipe directions in order from start to finish.
  • Trying different tastes, textures and foods.
  • Dexterity, fine motor skills and coordination and carrying or pouring without spilling, as well as opening containers and packets
  • Oven safety - Learning to use oven mitts and putting in and pulling out dishes carefully.


Bake a cake! Let your middle schooler use those measuring skills to make this recipe for a Red Velvet Cake.


Secondary School

  • Boiling water and draining after cooking things like rice or pasta.
  • Cooking eggs different ways.
  • Hone-in on those chopping skills for fruit and vegetable prep, teaching safety when using a sharp knife.
  • Make a basic pasta dish like spaghetti, lasagna or casserole.
  • Learn how to tell when meat is finished cooking.
  • Clean up after cooking.


Make lasagna! Get your highschooler to try and make some Lasagna for dinner.


All recipes in this article have been taken from the March Menu from Schoolhouse Teachers. You can check out the entire list of recipes and try them all! You may also be interested in our article, Learning About World Cultures in Your Kitchen.


This article has been written by homeschooling staff writers of The Canadian Schoolhouse (TCS). Enjoy more of our content from TCS contributors and staff writers by visiting our Front Door page that has content on our monthly theme and links to all our content sections.

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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).