Kids in the kitchen – or out of the kitchen?

Ah yes, time to make dinner and my favorite place for my son to be is right here, holding his Webkinz stuffed animals and watching TV.

Six years ago I would have judged this scene harshly.

No! My child will be on a stool every night at 5.30, helping me fill his plate with healthy ingredients! And when I have two children? Surely I can find age-appropriate jobs for each of them to do in the kitchen — at the same time!

How much I didn’t know then! I didn’t know that children like to open kitchen drawers and hang on them. I didn’t know that they like to stick both their hands in the back pockets of your jeans and then follow you around the room, stepping on your heels while you try to get dishes out of cupboards. I didn’t know that every time you opened the fridge or pantry for an ingredient, they would spy a favorite food and then beg for it incessantly, losing sight of the fact that we are MAKING DINNER RIGHT NOW!

This was the topic of our Ragú Mom’s The Word on Dinner video this week.

(If you’re reading on a reader or an iPad and can’t see the video above, find it here.)

How do we get our kids to help us in the kitchen? Christine of Boston Mamas will impress you with her story of little Laurel preparing dinner for Mom and Dad. Mindy will make you nod your head when you imagine yourself with six children and how you might assign or not assign them kitchen duties.

While we all want to lighten our loads in the kitchen, it’s tough to figure out how to do that with little kids, isn’t it?

During our latest adventure in pizza making, Scarlett was still interested in playing with flour on a tray, even after her personal serving of pizza dough had gone into the oven. I first told her no, wanting her to go join her brother on the couch, but then channeled my inner preschool teacher and decided that it was a harmless mess and I should just let her enjoy it. (I will be accepting my award for this decision later today.)

Ok, be honest. Do you include or exclude your kids when it’s time to cook dinner?

This video was produced in partnership with Ragú® and Momversation’s Mom’s the Word on Dinner Program. You can find out more about the program and join in on the conversation at the Ragú® Sauce Facebook page.