Being Montessori trained I always knew and agreed with kids getting real materials to eat with eg Delph plates metal forks etc but when I became a mum I went against it and went with plastic everything lol. I think most of us are like that though, parenting is the easiest thing in the world to give advice about until you are parenting your own!! Anyhow it didn’t affect their development, they can use delph and metal no problem and I had less breakages to deal with so I don’t regret that decision at all. Anything for an easier life right!? So when it came to preparing food for dinner etc I was like God na what if they cut themselves? What if they burn themselves? It will take too long to do when I’d have the job done in half the time myself! A couple of years ago though I got chatting to a chef at a wedding, a cousin of John’s and he started chatting about kids now not being able to cook for themselves cause they’ve never had to and from that day on I started to include Aaron more. He loves to prep the veg for dinner, peeling the skin and chopping them up, he loves to cook his own food commenting on the smell, how it’s looking, giving it a wee taste to make sure it’s ok. What I’ve realised is it’s not only developing his skills in the kitchen, it is growing his confidence, his sense of worth, his self esteem and his confidence. He loves being given the responsibility, he thrives on it. Caolan doesn’t show as much interest in cooking (he absolutely loves baking though) so I dont force him to join us but I do encourage him sometimes so that some day he might enjoy it too. I personally feel if they’re made to do something it takes out the enjoyment and they may not continue to do it whereas if they’re encouraged and willing to take part they’ll be more keen to participate more. Caolan is great at getting all the ingredients and equipment he needs depending on what he’s baking. He prepares it all and mixes it all together before helping me put it in the oven. His favourite part is licking the bowl afterwards of course, the same as me lol. We’re huge Betty Crocker fans here haha but I’ll pop some images of great simple recipes for kids to bake below that we use from the book called ‘the giant kids cook book’ by Emma-Lee Gow.