Getting Your Children to Cook

I’ve spent quite a bit of time lately on Facebook and Twitter talking about the various aspects of my home.  This includes tidbits ranging from chickens to children and everything in between.  I’ll start with children, and my two favorite subjects in the entire world –my sons.

Last night the boys and I had breakfast for dinner.  Each of us made our own omelet.  Eggs are a great place to start when it comes to cooking with children.

I’ve had the boys in the kitchen since they were babies and put them to work at an early age.  My older son used to use his pudgy little 2 year old fingers to pick tiny leaves off thyme stems for me; my younger son has been cracking eggs since he was 3.

Each of the boys has their own special knife which they use for chopping, and I have spent quite a bit of time with each one showing them how to properly hold and use a knife –knife safety is of utmost importance for both children and adults.

child chopping kale

Last night my younger son made an omelet with onions, kale and cheddar cheese, while my older son opted to make a “sweet” omelet.  It is so much fun to watch the boys cook and move around the kitchens with them.  After all these years they are kinda pros!

In addition to enjoying spending time with them doing something I love, it is wonderful to watch them take so much pride in their cooking.  They concentrate, are careful and manage to have fun in the process.

Many of my above thoughts about cooking with children are due to a recent interview I had with a lovely site called  I am very happy to be the subject of the site’s “In the Kitchen With…” feature.  If you have a moment hop on over and take a look.  There are quite a few pictures of my kitchen and garden.


16 responses to “Getting Your Children to Cook”

  1. Hi Elana—

    How great that you’ve been getting your boys involved
    in the kitchen since such an early age! Cooking with
    your kids is such a fun way to teach your little ones
    about vitamins, nutrients and what actually goes into
    the food they eat.

    That’s why I work for The Kids Cook Monday, a
    campaign that encourages families to set aside the first
    night of every week for cooking and eating together as a
    family. (

    I’d be interested in having a call to discuss getting our
    similar messages out there to other families. Your
    gluten-free recipes could also come in handy to a lot of
    the participating Kids Cook Monday families.

    Would you be interested in having a call to discuss ways
    we could work together? If so, shoot me an email at and we can find a
    good day and time.


  2. What a great article! My husband gives me credit for teaching him how to cook (and I give him credit for teaching me to be a computer-nerd, lol). I’m also slowly teaching my 21 year old brother how to cook healthy meals for himself; his salmon in parchment is the only salmon that our (picky) dad will eat! :)

    I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind sharing what kind of cutting boards you recommend? The one in the photo looks like bamboo, but what brand? Also, how do you clean and care for them? My flexible plastic cutting boards are biting the dust and I don’t want to replace them with more plastic. Thanks, Elana!

  3. Wow, I really love what you wrote here about cooking with your two boys. Cooking/baking in the kitchen (and doing it with organic products) is one of my fave things to do with my kids also. Our next “baking date” will involve GF cupcakes. BTW, I get some of my best tips and recipes from Tina Turbin’s – in fact you two have a lot in common!

  4. Lovely post and article, Elana! It was so nice to read so much about you and your family. Even though I’ve been reading here all the time and have been for a long time, I learned some new things about you and your approach. :-)

    One of the hardest things being a support group leader is trying to help new members who have never cooked before. Their first inclination is to go out and buy all processed ready-to-eat gf foods, which obviously won’t heal them or have them feeling much better than they were before. If these folks had been involved in the kitchen cooking from a young age, cooking real food, the transition to gluten free would be so much easier. But, I am proud to say that some of these folks are seeing the simple, wonderful gf dishes that can be made and are making the transition. Since we start each meeting with a shared meal and most everyone in our group shares the same approach, they are slowly getting how easy it is to cook and eat gluten free.

    Thanks for all you do on spreading the word and sharing your wonderful healthy recipes daily, Elana!


  5. Loved the writeup! I keep putting off chickens because we have so much wildlife near us and I’m so busy, but maybe soon! A friend feeds her chickens yogurt!

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