Cooking together as a family provides the opportunity to talk about food, our relationship with food, and making nutritious choices to nourish our bodies well. It boosts confidence, creativity and strategic planning skills, plus it’s an excellent opportunity to practice following directions from beginning to end.

Here are four strategies to get kids involved in the kitchen:

  1. Select the Right Recipe: Allow kids to choose the dish they want to make, helping to narrow down first to a few limited options. For example, 3 recipes to choose from that are each nutritious, age- and skill-appropriate.
  2. Take them Shopping: Review the recipe to make grocery list and shop for ingredients. When possible, allow kids to select the specific items when there are multiple options.  If a recipe calls for fresh herbs, consider buying a windowsill herb plant to expand their experience.
  3. Make it a Party: Jazz it up with fun aprons. Pretend you’re hosting a cooking show. Play music, dance around. And above all, know that it’s okay if mistakes (and messes) are made.
  4. Celebrate and Savor Together. Whether it’s just family, or friends or neighbors are invited, so much of the joy of preparing a meal is watching others enjoy our creations!

Looking for more inspiration?  Bring kids to say hello to Brooke and Molly at the Eat Fit Jr. Chef Challenge this Saturday March 11, from 10am to 1pm at the New Orleans Home & Garden Show in the Superdome as three young chefs will be competing in the final round of the Eat Fit Junior Chef Cooking Challenge.  The grand prize winner will join Molly for a cooking segment on Good Morning New Orleans! 

New Orleans Home & Garden Show Details

DATES & TIMES:                                              

  • Friday, March 11: Noon – 7pm
  • Saturday, March 12: 10am – 7pm
  • Sunday, March 13: 10am – 6pm

ADMISSION PRICE: Adults: $15; Children Under 12: Free

DISCOUNT TICKETS: Visit and receive $5 off ticket price courtesy of Shell Pipeline

Looking for more resources for kids?

Parent Tip Sheet, Age by Age by the National Institutes of Health

Eat Fit CHOP: Kids in the Kitchen provides culinary toolkits, recipes, workbooks and activities to local schools, camps, recreational departments and youth programs. Email Erin Arceneaux at for details.


FUELED Wellness + Nutrition is powered by Smoothie King. Learn about Eat Fit at Smoothie King; click here for the full list of Eat Fit options available at Smoothie King, proud sponsor of FUELED Wellness + Nutrition with Molly on WGNO. 


Molly Kimball, RD, CSSD is a registered dietitian + nutrition journalist in New Orleans, and founder of Ochsner Eat Fit nonprofit restaurant initiative. Tune in to her podcast, FUELED | Wellness + Nutrition and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @MollyKimballRD. See more of Molly’s articles + TV segments at, and sign up for Eat Fit Wellness Bites weekly newsletter, here.