The control-freak’s guide to a stress-free kitchen experience


Getting kids (or other family members) involved in the kitchen may be a good time for some, but for others, there is such a thing as “too many cooks in the kitchen.” As a self-proclaimed kitchen control freak, I’ve had to learn to let go and loosen up in order to enjoy baking time with my husband and one-year-old. I’ve found that it’s often the little things that produce the best memories and loudest laughter, like letting my one-year-old stir a few ingredients together or having my husband scoop and roll the dough. Below are a few tips that have made sharing the kitchen more enjoyable for me, so I hope they’ll be helpful to you and yours.

1. Set aside a special time. If I know ahead of time that others will be joining me in the kitchen, I do everything I can to prepare for it. That means setting aside special time. I like to set aside weeknights to make homemade pizzas or cookies with my family. Maybe for you, it’s making brunch on Sundays after church, or preparing ingredients for a build-your-own taco bar on Tuesday nights. Setting aside time will allow you to mentally prepare for the kitchen company without feeling like they’re intruding on all your kitchen time.

2. Leave them alone. If you can feel your blood pressure skyrocketing as your kids make messes and wreak havoc in the kitchen,learn to relinquish control and let them explore. Set boundaries that will keep everyone safe and sane and let them find enjoyment as they learn their way around.

3. You decide the jobs. As the adult, you get to decide which jobs are theirs and which are yours. This will provide so much more freedom and enjoyment when you realize that you are inviting your kids into the kitchen without giving them complete access to every task.

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Katie Farrell incorporates meal planning, clean-eating, recipes, tech-smart grocery lists, product recommendations, workouts, spiritual exercises, personalized coaching and more into the innovative but intuitive online platform, Dashing Dish, whose mission is to nourish bodies and souls through whole foods, simple recipes and manageable workouts. Her dynamic guide takes the guesswork out of every aspect of healthy living and makes good choices easy, practical and fun