5 Tips from a Kid Chef to Get Kids Cookin'

Amber Kelley is 10 years old, and is the host of her own healthy online cooking show, "Cook With Amber." Her mission is to show all kids that "being healthy is cool," and spreads her message through her cooking show as well as regular appearances on TV and radio. For episodes, recipes, and more about Amber, visit www.cookwithamber.com opens in a new tab.

Hi I'm Amber, and I'm 10 years old. I love to cook, and I think being healthy is cool. Cooking is fun because it's like one giant experiment, and you get to taste your results! Plus, it's important for us kids to learn to cook healthy meals and see for ourselves that whole, unprocessed foods are yummy! That will help us build good eating habits for a lifetime! 

If you want your kids to get in the kitchen, here are some tips that worked for my sister and me.

  1. Let us help. We love to feel helpful (even if we aren't)! Invite us to come into the kitchen every time you're cooking.

  2. Let us mush. It's always fun to get your hands dirty and squish things! If you are making dough, salad, meatballs or anything that involves mixing and shaping with your hands, get your kids involved.

  3. Let us dump. Dumping is fun for little kids as well as big kids. Many recipes I cook involve lots of dumping. Check out www.cookwithamber.com opens in a new tab for ideas!

  4. Let us taste. Isn't that the best part of cooking anyways? Let kids taste as you cook and give their opinion on whether or not it needs more seasonings.

  5. Let us be the head chef! Kids love to be in charge. It makes us feel important! Let us plan the meal, "supervise" the cooking, set the table and draw the menu. 

Trust me, the more time your kids spend in the kitchen, the more they'll love it. I love to cook, and I love it more and more every day! It's fun to invent recipes, too. Check out my Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken opens in a new tab – it’s featured in the Salad Bar Nation opens in a new tab campaign from Whole Kids Foundation® opens in a new tab – a campaign to raise funds for school salad bars across America.

I wouldn't have ever started cooking though, if it weren’t for my mom. She got me in the kitchen. She let me help. She let me mush, dump, and taste. And now, I truly get to be the head chef sometimes! It's really rewarding and I know that cooking is something I'll do for the rest of my life.

How do you get your kids cooking? I’d love to hear your tips!


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