30 Toddler-Friendly Kitchen Tasks to Familiarize Your Picky Eater with New Foods
In This Post:
I’m a firm believer that the #1 way to help your picky eater is to familiarize them with new foods – or foods they’ve rejected in the past.
And one of the ways you can help familiarize them with foods is to get them involved in every aspect of meal prep – grocery shopping, cooking, and serving. But when it comes to toddlers it’s hard to know what kitchen tasks are safe and age-appropriate.
So to help you out I’ve created a list of 30 toddler-friendly kitchen tasks – broken down by age – to help you familiarize your little one with new foods and start to break some of those picky eating behaviors and habits!
Kitchen Tasks for 2-Year-Olds
It’s hard to picture a 2 year old helping out in the kitchen sometimes, but I promise there are a ton of tasks they can help with. Not only will it help familiarize them with new foods, but it’s great for their development!
Here are some kitchen tasks you can assign to your 2-year-old:
#1: mix together ingredients in a bowl
#2: pour pre-measured ingredients into a bowl
#3: wash fruits or veggies. You can grab one of these handy veggie scrubbers.
#4: wash dishes
#5: hand you the ingredients that you have out on the counter
#6: oil or butter veggies with a brush
#7: sprinkle toppings or garnishes
#8: set table with silverware
#9: wipe down the table or chairs after mealtime
#10: count the number of fruits or veggies you’re using in the recipe, the ingredients you’re using, or the number of silverware settings
Don’t forget to teach them the words for different ingredients or dishes you are cooking.
Kitchen Tasks for 3-Year-Olds
As your toddler gets older you can start to teach them new ways to help you out in the kitchen. Here are some of the kitchen tasks that you can have your 3-year-old help out with:
#11: crack eggs
#12: spread soft spreads – like butter, jam, cream cheese, nut butter
#13: find ingredients or condiments in the pantry or fridge
#14: make juice – freshly squeezed or from concentrate
#15: wrap veggies – like sweet potatoes – in foil for baking or grilling
#16: knead and roll out the dough
#17: pluck grapes from the stems
#18: tear lettuce or herbs
#19: sort utensils
#20: arrange toppings for meals like pizza or sandwiches
Pro Tip: When you have your child crack eggs for breakfast or for a recipe, have them crack the eggs into a small bowl and then add them to your pan or batter. This will ensure you can catch and remove any shell fragments.
Kicthen Tasks for 4- and 5-Year-Olds
By age 4 or 5 you should have plenty of tasks your little ones can help you with in the kitchen. Getting them involved at an early age builds a healthy relationship with food and starts to build cooking skills they need for later in life!
Here are some kitchen tasks that you can have your 4 or 5-year-old help out with:
#21: measure out ingredients
#22: mash soft foods – mashed sweet potatoes, guacamole, beans
#23: set the table
#24: cut soft foods – you can use these kid-safe kitchen knifes
#25: grate cheese
#26: peel foods – like bananas, tangerines, hard-boiled eggs
#27: set timer
#28: clear the table after mealtime
#29: wipe down the counters
#30: assemble simple snacks – like fruit skewers, mini sandwiches, veggie sticks with dip
Pro Tip: Keep a paper towel or kitchen towel underneath your child’s workspace as they learn to measure out ingredients. They are prone to spill and this will make it super easy to clean up.
Let’s Wrap It Up
Alright! That wraps up our list of toddler-friendly kitchen tasks! I hope you have some inspo of things you can have your littles help you out within the kitchen. There are definitely other tasks you can have them help out with – but this is a great starting point!
I’ve found it’s a great way for my kids to stay content while I cook, build a healthy relationship with food, and teach them skills they need to learn! So I really encourage you to use the list to get started cooking with your little one – even if it’s just one meal per week!