Do you allow your younger kids to cook alone in your kitchen?

Philippines
June 26, 2010 8:52am CST
When I cook, I sometimes let my 8 year old daughter do the cooking while I watch in close supervision and she consistently insists on helping out. I started training her in the kitchen when she was almost 6 years old. A few months ago, I found out that she was cooking hard boiled eggs for herself and she declared that she had done it couple of times before and even fried some hotdogs while I was not around to supervise her. I was a bit worried then but at the same time, it gave me some relief to know that even if I can't cook for her, she can fend for herself. For almost a year now, she cooks our rice all by herself without the use of a rice cooker and she could cook easy recipes, including cutting and slicing of ingredients but of course it's still under my supervision. I don't allow her to hold the knife if I can't be there to see how she does it. For a couple of years now she has always declared that she wanted to be a well known chef someday so I guess I was right to start her early in the kitchen. So what do you think about letting younger kids cook alone in your kitchen?
2 people like this
17 responses
@Annina (67)
• Czech Republic
27 Jun 10
At present, unfortunately, families often lack enthusiasm for the common cooking and dining. It is unfortunate that many children know for example, spinach in its original condition or know the dough only as semi - bought and packed in a carton. And while kids cook and bake very happy, they are happiest when they can help.
• Philippines
27 Jun 10
Hi Annina, You are right! Children are most happy when we allow them help and do chores because it gives them satisfaction to know that they are part of a collective effort of the family. They do realize that it is a big achievement for them to be able to do the things that only adults were supposed to do.
@Annina (67)
• Czech Republic
27 Jun 10
My daughter helps me in the kitchen from the age of two.Daughter is thirteen years and cooks in the kitchen alone.
• Philippines
28 Jun 10
That's a nice break. At least now you can trust her with doing that and need not worry so much as your daughter can manage very well in the kitchen.
@tomitomi (5441)
• Singapore
26 Jun 10
Hi Bluebelleangel! It's good to start them young. I believe so. But they should be closely supervised. We can see whether they like it or not. And if they do it helps to give them as much exposure and the opportunities they need to exercise it. It's one of life's skills. And it makes a good career too. A career, one that's interesting, exciting and enriching usually starts from young.
@oldchem1 (8144)
26 Jun 10
Yes I did, my children all started to cook with me and by eight were able to cook by them selves and understood the dangers of the oven etc I think it is extremely important that children learn the science and love of cooking from an early age
• Philippines
26 Jun 10
Hi Oldchem, I also taught her precautions using the gas range. Right now, she is aiming to bake her very first cake. She watches a lot of cooking shows and videos with me, at least those shows that teach the art of cooking. Yes Tomitomi, My mother started me young too but not as young as I did my daughter. She was always afraid that I might hurt myself while handling knives. I started cooking when I was 10 but I really hate fying until now. Thanks and good day to both of you!
@tomitomi (5441)
• Singapore
26 Jun 10
• United States
28 Jun 10
I cooked when I was younger, but I was supervised. I remeber always baking around the holidays. I think it is great to teach young kids both boys and girls how to cook so that when they move out on their own they can cook. I think it is great that she wants to cook. Has she tried to going to web sites such as cooks and frigal cooking sites that have easy recipes. I have some easy recipes that she can follow. Just send me a PM and I will give some to you.
• Philippines
28 Jun 10
Hi Randylovesdar, Thanks for your contribution to this discussion. I really appreciated the fact that my mother taught me how to cook early. It gave me a great start and I never had a hard time to adjust to married life because my husband loves my cooking and my daughters love good food. I appreciate mostly your offer to lend me your recipes for my daughter. I can also give you some favorite Filipino Recipes if you would like to try some. Have a nice day!
• India
27 Jun 10
My granddaughter 11 years young and her sister 6 years young help their mom in cooking, but they are not allowed to cook alone, the reason is evident, there is gas stove, electric stove etc, accidents may occurr.... Thanks for sharing. Welcome always. Cheers. Professor
• Philippines
27 Jun 10
Hello Professor2010, I never really allowed her to cook without my supervision but she did on several occasions that I am not aware until the time I caught her in my kitchen. Luckily she managed very well but now, I restricted her to cook without my knowledge and supervision. Thanks!
@avani26 (1521)
• India
27 Jun 10
I would not mind provided I am around and yes my daughter is interested in cooking too but I am too scared to allow her to do it even though she is 10 as I feel that if something goes wrong my hubby will kill me. He loves her a lot. I did once or twice allow her to cook but was around. Once she prepared tea for her dad and the second time he made some tomato dish which could be used as a paste for her sandwich. When she is home for the holidays I allow her to clean the kitchen after my cooking is done and believe me she does a very good job (much better than me).
• Philippines
27 Jun 10
Hi Avani26, Children can be very dedicated to doing work in the house. They always appreciate it when we allow them to help us and let them do the work we do. Somehow it feeds their curiosity and more often than not, they do a better job than we do as they got all the time because we always rush to finish things.
• United States
27 Jun 10
i do not let them cook but my grand children every sence they have been little get up on the stool at the breakfast bar and watch me i think it help them learn what good food is and how to prepare it . there parents all work and so they eat out a lot they love coming here because i do cook and i still bake and i still work.my grandson pre-school teacher told me that he was the only one in the class that knew what broccoli was and that was because we had it for dinner the night before with chesse and he kept asking what it was and he loved it so i do know that they learn by watching in the kitchen.
• Philippines
27 Jun 10
Hello Craftyhomebody, People have different insights to things. Here, eating out is quite a luxury that not all families can afford so it is obviously cooking the food we eat is the best way to save and it is healthy as well. I appreciate that you do not let the children cook. At least they are interested to know what they are eating because they are watching closely how food is being prepared, I am sure eventually they'll learn how.
• Malaysia
27 Jun 10
It's alright to allow an 8 year old to do cooking under an adult supervision. But if the child cooks on his/her own, it's very dangerous. Please don't take the risk. My daughter is 13 and I don't allow her to even turn on the stove on her own. It's a good thing that your daughter wants to be a chef in the future, but dont let her cook on her own. We can't foresee danger.
• Philippines
27 Jun 10
Hi Annwishes, I agree with you, we can never foresee dangers and I also know that I am responsible for her so as much as possible, I let her do the cooking by herself but I make it a point that I am beside her to guide her through. I am more afraid if she doesn't learn early. She came late in our lives and I have become sickly in the past. My elder daughter is 21 y.o. and few years from now, she'll leave us to live her own life. I just wish, I can still be with them for 20 or 30 years more in God's grace.
@sharad7 (86)
• India
27 Jun 10
I never allowed my children to cook food alone in kitchen because it is harmful for them but as possible as I try to teach them how they cook food alone in kitchen because after marriage or for boys if they go outside from their home then how they cook food alone in their home place.
• Philippines
27 Jun 10
Thanks for sharing!
@Opal26 (17690)
• United States
27 Jun 10
Hi Bluebelleangel~ Welcome to myLot! I think that is really great that your daughter loves to cook already! I would say that she certainly is advanced for her age, even I stillcan't cook rice! I buy the boil-in-bag stuff because I just could never make rice perfect! I am a really good cook and I also started young by watching my Greatgrandmother, Grandmother and Mom in the kitchen and of course I always want to help and learn! And I'm so glad I did! When I make certain dishes that they all made and it tastes the same as I remembered it makes me feel so good. I do think your daughter does have the makings of a chef!
• Philippines
27 Jun 10
Hi Opal26, Thank you for your very nice comment. I am sure we both love to cook. I hope we could share recipes in the future. Have a nice day!
• Philippines
27 Jun 10
No, I don't allow my children because it is very risky. Accidents are likely to happen, like, what if they forget to close the gas range, isn't it that it may cause fire? Or, they might pour themselves with boiling water. It is right to teach them early but we should always be at their side assisting them. And when they'll become more mature and already know proper safety measures, then it will be alright to let them work by themselves. By the way, my daughter also dreams of becoming a Chef.
• Philippines
27 Jun 10
Hi Lingaypaculdar, Thanks for the response. Let's both hope that they get to achieve their dreams.
@sender621 (14956)
• United States
27 Jun 10
I am not comfortable with children alone in the kitchen. If they were to get burned or get cut, that would be hard for me to deal with. Until the teenaged years, children really should be supervised in the klitchen. This doesn't mean they can't do a good job. It just a way to insure their safety.
• Philippines
27 Jun 10
Hi Sender621, Any parent would be concerned about the safety of their children but I always remember what my grandfather told my father when I was still young. He said, "let your children live their lives and learn that life is not always easy. As much as you want, you can not be there for them every time. Allow them to stumble once in a while. Remember that mistakes are those experiences that you can call the best educators and without them, your children will never learn how to stand on their own because they never knew how to deal with failures. But of course, I know the dangers in the kitchen so I make it a point that I give her lectures everytime and reminders about precautions.
@Bellapop (1281)
26 Jun 10
Oh no, of course not, never allow young children to cook alone in the kitchen, never ever. They must be supervised. There are a lot of dangerous tools in the kitchen, knives, forks, scissors, glass plates, cups etc, not to mention the oven, gas hob and kettle. No one in their right mind would leave a child alone in the kitchen. In your case, you have been teaching your childhow to cook, but by all means you had never meant for her to be alone in the kitchen, your intention was still to always supervise her, she has been cooking alone without your knowledge, so I guess, you can't help that if she decides to cook behind your back. It's good to know that if anything happens and you're not around to cook that she can manage by herself but I would really not recommend letting a young child cook on her own in the kitchen no matter how accompliched you or she thinks of herself. Although you should be very proud that you have a smart kid. :) xx
• Philippines
26 Jun 10
Hi Bellapop, Thanks for the nice comments. I really don't allow her on her own this early but she is just not the kind of girl who stops when you say stop although now she asks me everytime she wants to cook for herself so that I could check on her. And the good thing is that, she knows her precautions as I am always repeating the dangers that may happen if she doesn't heed my advise. Now, I am more comfortable watching her as she cooks because I can see that she is taking in all my teachings. Sometimes she even gets angry if I cook her recipe and I don't wake her up to do the cooking.
@lilybug (21148)
• United States
26 Jun 10
My 10 year old son sometimes helps me in the kitchen sometimes and he can do basic things by himself, but he does not try to cook whole meals by himself. I think it is great that your daughter has taken such a liking to the kitchen and cooking. Who knows maybe one day she will be a famous chef.
• Philippines
26 Jun 10
Hi Lilibug, Thanks! I also support her desire to become one good chef. It's up to her to become famous. I just want to bring her up properly unlike my 21 y.o. daughter who hates the kitchen. She loves to eat but she doesn't like to cook, though she knows how. She only cooks when she is left alone in the house.
@asliah (11148)
• Philippines
15 Mar 13
for me i will never do that to kids,i will not allow them to cook in that young age because its is prone to accident because they are still young or child,and aside from that i will worry too on what will be happen if i left them alone and cook.
@p3ks626 (6550)
• Philippines
28 Jun 10
I dont have kids but I have nephews. We dont really allow them to cook alone at home. They can cook but they are being supervised. My mom taught me how to cook when I was 10 and she always supervised every time I do something in the kitchen. There are so many that could possibly happen if we just leave kids alone while they are cooking something.
@chuck2 (183)
• Philippines
27 Jun 10
I won't allow my kids to do so in the kitchen. It's very scary to watch them cooking by their self using kitchen utensils especially knife, Boiling water with their own and Mostly slicing the vegetables into pieces. Oh! I don't find it cute seeing a little child making a dish in the kitchen.
• China
27 Jun 10
It is so wonderful and exciting know your lovely daughter wants to help in the kitchen. One day, she would take care of her family. And your guidance and supervision, I believe she will learn very quickly. In the coming days, she will look back, notice the care and mother taught her most basic cooking. I'm happy for you and your daughter. I know, she will become a great is not only a cook cooking, but a kind of love. Arouse her, let her do the cooking.