At What Age Should A Child Start Cooking?

Dear Aunty Eya, I need help with a little parenting. I didn't grow up with my parents and have no memories to connect  while teaching my kids. My daughter will clock ten this year. I want to teach her some basic skills like cooking but again afraid that she might get hurt or burns and I am just scared. She wants to cook but I still think her age is not there yet.

At what age can a child start preparing simple meals like
their noodles, boiling rice and yam and even frying plantain? I have no idea. I started too early and saw it as punishment. My guardian then actually taught me like it was punishment. 

Please I need advice. Can my 9 year old start lighting the cooker and preparing meals?


  1. Anonymous6/11/2013

    I started cooking at 7. For me 7 to 8 is fine. Let them start early.

  2. I think 9/10 is a good age to start cooking simple things like noodles and learning about safety in the kitchen.

    Younger than that, they can make toast and help out with simple things like fetching the salt and mixing batter.

    I believe the earlier the better so they can develop an interest in kitchen matters, but make it fun so that the kids will even vie amongst themselves to be mummy's little helper :-)

    I started rather late but thank God I learned fast!

  3. I started helping out in the kitchen when I was five and cooked my first meal at 7. So it may be better you start involving them in the Kitchen at an early age, then allow them cook a meal when you feel they are old enough to handle it. Children are different. But they can all take up a little responsibility at an early age.

    1. Shayor!6/11/2013

      Sister, calm down na! She said she started helping in d kitchen at 5, not cooking. And is indomie d only meal? Not everyone is as old as u are, from some of Adhaisy's comment, I derived she's ard 25 yrs old! Babes Indomie don dey wen she was 7!!!! (Argue that). U don need to jump at her everytime..she dsnt av any reason to tell lies, none of us is willing to go and find out if its true or not! Take a chill pill. #not an ahdaisy voltron for ur info#

  4. 9 is okay! Let her stay in the kitchen and watch you cook, she can make indomie, fry eggs etc its okay for them to help with kitchen work, just change your mind set its not punishment but home training.

  5. Anonymous6/11/2013

    The most important thing is interest. If the child has shown interest already, pls let her start immediately. My little girl of 2 and half, smtimes join me in the kitchen, and I give her a stool to climb so she can see the pot of soup. At a time, she assisted in adding maggi. And she so love cleaning and setting for dinner too. I just allow her, and correct her when she's doing it wrong.
    Guide your child in the kitchen, until you are convinced that she's learnt all safety tips in the kitchen.
    Let her start immediately, she's old enouf.


    1. Hot Geh6/11/2013

      Pls dnt bring a baby so close to a boiling pot. She can unwrap the maggi and give it to u biko..very risky

  6. errrm, dunno about what the right age should be. apart from checking to see if water is still in the beans, pounding pepper and crayfish, picking grains and stuffs like that, i started cooking properly at the age of 17 when i finished secondary school.
    i will suggest she starts assisting and getting to know how processes in making food till she becomes a teenager cos of safety reasons. Right now, let her be no where else but in the kitchen while you or any other elderly person is cooking cos i feel a 9 year old is a tad bit young to cook except of course an older person is there to keep an eye.

  7. Dis is the ripe age for her and its even a better advantage now cos she's showing interest.

  8. desire6/11/2013

    I started helping in the kitchen very early and cooked my first meal @ 7 which btw gave me a burn while opening the pot of rice. But guess what, I didn't So if she's interested, let her start now with simple things like making indomie and frying/boiling eggs etc.

  9. Your daughter is showing interest in kitchen affairs and that's a good thing. She has the interest, help her develop it even more. The age is appropriate IMO.

    Remember the saying "Catch them young"?
    Please be there to supervise her till she can hold her own.

  10. chubby ELLA6/11/2013

    They'v said it all,if she shows interest den u shud put her tru in all u need her 2 knw. She's nt 2 young 2 start,she myt hurt herself once or twice,its all in d learning process afta we adults stil hurt ourselves in d kitchen.

  11. Please ensure that you teach her that 'safety first'. Let her watch you light up the cooker. Don't forget to explain the dangerous accidents that could occur if she carelessly makes a mistake with the cooker. As for cooking, let her begin learning by staying in the kitchen while you cook, instead of watching TV or sleeping. She can start with boiling rice, beans, eba, adding seasoning etc

    Gradually, she will become used to the kitchen and will be able to handle it on her own. Be prepared to do lots of shouting sha as per the safety thing cos some kids can forget a lot. But it's all in the learning process.

    1. This! Safety is the most important aspect of teaching kids how to cook.

  12. Bislondy6/11/2013

    Please Start by teaching her the basics. She can start little things like boiling water, making noodles etc. I have a cousin that is of her age and she cooks for herself and her two siblings. She warms and microwave their food too. As she grows older she would learn the more complicated and tougher meals.

  13. I started cooking at age 12 while in JS2. I was alone at home with my parents and our first born, all the others were in Uni and boarding house.
    Our firstborn just pushed me into the kitchen and asked me to prepare jollof rice, prior to that I had neva stepped foot in the kitchen. I did what I could, but errm the rice was plentier than the ingredients. Lol. My dad of blessed memory actually praised me so well you'd think it was chinese I made.
    I was encouraged and picked up from there. I was in the kitchen unassisted and was using the hotplate to cook sef, not gas. Hotplate is even more dangerous and I didn't die.
    Please its not too early oh. Be assisting her for now, till you gradually ease her into it. If she's very sharp, she'll pick up in no time.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. I started cooking @ the age of 7 wen I was in primary sch. My mum will bring out yam then and instruct us to boil it and warm either stew or red oil wen we return from sch, then there was no noodle so it was more tedious. @ age 8/9 I cooked yam and beans porridge. So plz guide her its not too early, the ealier the better.


Post a Comment

Click on the pictures to make them bigger.
Feel free to email us with comments, suggestions, recipe ideas, or pretty much anything!
Contact Email:

Most comments are by other blog readers. Always seek Professional Help First.
“As an Amazon Associate I earn a little commission when you shop from links placed on this blog.”