Ask any grownup cook you know how he or she learned to cook and most (if not all!) will tell you he or she first began to learn how to cook by spending time in the kitchen helping parents or grandparents prepare foods. By assisting adults with the preparation of different dishes in the kitchen, you are picking up on their tips and tricks without even realizing it.
Whether your parents are preparing a special holiday treat or just an ordinary week night dinner, volunteer to be the sous chef. The sous chef (you), or second in command, helps the head chef (your parents) get everything ready. Check out these fun and safe ways you can help in the kitchen and learn how to be an even better Healthy Little Cook while you’re at it!
- Wash Produce. It’s important to scrub fruits and veggies to get as much pesticide, fertilizer, and plain ol’ dirt off of them before you eat them. Even organic fruits and veggies need a good scrubbing to get dirt, debris, and natural fertilizers off of them. You might be surprised to see how dirty your produce is before you wash them.
- Prep Veggies: You can snap beans, shuck corn, tear lettuce, and more to help get produce ready to be cooked. None of these activities involves the danger of a sharp knife, yet they are all important things that must be done.
- Grease Pans. Put a healthy fat of choice (coconut oil, avocado oil, and grass fed butter make good choices for baking and roasting) on a paper towel and rub it evenly over the pan or baking sheet your parents need. The fat helps smooth any tiny scratches in the bakeware so cooked foods will slide out easily when it’s time to eat.
- Add Seasoning. Sprinkling seasonings onto food before it goes into the oven is another great way to help. Ask your parents to pre-measure the seasonings (or help them with this task too!) and then sprinkle it evenly over foods like potatoes, carrots, or anything else that needs a dash of extra flavor. Another fun way to get foods evenly coated is by putting chopped produce into a zipper bag, adding the seasonings, sealing the bag and shaking the bag to coat everything!
- Clean Up Crew. No, this isn’t the most fun job in the kitchen, but it is a vital role that must be performed daily. Help out by sticking around to help wash and dry the tools you used after the fun of cooking is over. They will appreciate it and you might enjoy yourself more than you expect!
What’s your favorite way to serve as sous chef in the kitchen? Leave a comment below!