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Kids in the kitchen during COVID-19

Father and three boys mixing ingredients on the kitchen counter

Due to COVID-19, many of our routines and structures have been turned upside down. The one thing that continues to be essential is that we still need to eat! By seeking ways to take the pressure off ourselves and our kids, we can create opportunities to connect with food and nurture healthy eating. If you’d like to explore bringing kids into the kitchen more right now, maybe there’s a tip here that could help.

Food planning

When planning meals, aim to include options that you enjoy eating as a family. Here are a few ideas:

  • Pull out a cookbook or two and choose a few recipes together to make for the week.

  • Choose a new or favourite ingredient to build a meal around, for example noodles, lentils, or cheese.

  • Include foods that kids can serve or put together themselves like mini pizzas or make-your-own wraps.

Meal ideas

If you’re looking for recipe inspiration, check out Canada’s Food Guide or the BC community recipes on BetterTogetherBC. For example, here are a few 1-minute videos from the kitchen hacks contest: 40-cent microwave burritos, Time saving sheet pancakes, Faster than delivery pizza quesadilla. You can also submit your own recipe to Better Together, or even create your own cookbook!


Kids in the kitchen may require plenty of patience at the start but also an opportunity to learn and have fun. Children are also more likely to eat and enjoy what they’ve helped to prepare! Let your kids do the “fun” jobs like mixing ingredients together, cracking eggs, or stirring the pot. Check out this guide for tips about cooking with kids. Whatever the skill level, there are ways to involve any age, ranging from toddlers to teens.


It could get messy, so consider helping with cleanup as part of the kids’ job. The only way to learn is to try. This is also a great opportunity to practice proper hand-hygiene. It can be surprising to see how young children and teenagers get excited when invited to help.

Want more tips about feeding kids during COVID-19?

Written and updated by Vancouver Coastal Health Child and Youth Public Health Dietitians, June 29, 2020

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