Kids in the Kitchen: Grilled Ranch Chicken

I really believe strongly in involving kids in the kitchen. One of my goals for my kids is to teach them how to cook. I think it’s a very important life skill. I really want to teach my kids how to do it so that they can take care of themselves. Plus I want them to be comfortable in the kitchen.

For the most part, this is not hard because they want to be helping in the kitchen. But sometimes it’s hard to think of a way they can help. Or, like I was in the beginning, you might worry about the mess or screwing up the recipe. But, over time, I have learned to let go a little bit and let them help. So, in this occasional feature, I am going to give you a glimpse into some of the ways that I cook with my kids.

Tonight, we made grilled ranch chicken. This recipe comes from The Everything Food Allergy Cookbook (affiliate link). I got this cookbook when it was free for Kindle one time (I’m a collector haha) and while we don’t have food allergies, I’ve found it has some especially excellent recipes. I especially like the fried rice recipe it contains. But because of that, I’m not going to be including the full recipe. My main helper was Dominic (4), while Allen observed.

While Dominic has helped in the kitchen before, today was really the first time I let him help with measuring. This is a big deal for me because I was worrying that he would either measure too much and make a big mess. But today, he helped measure the ranch dressing (the cookbook had it’s own recipe for ranch dressing, but sometimes I take shortcuts ;)). Then, we talked about the difference between a teaspoon and a tablespoon, and he held the tablespoon while I poured the lemon juice (apparently I couldn’t let go of all measuring control ;)). Then I put the chicken in the bag with the marinade and after I closed it, he helped move it all around and get it all coated with marinade.

Dominic measuring the ranch dressing

It’s just simple stuff, but I see this as laying the foundation for more cooking skills later on. We all enjoy it.

What have you cooked lately? What do you like to cook with your kids? Are you comfortable with your kids in the kitchen?

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