Healthy Eating > Healthy Kids > Healthy Eating for Your Preschooler > Kitchen Activities for Preschoolers

Kitchen Activities to Get Your Preschooler Eating Healthy

Get Them Cooking!

A great way to get your preschool child to eat healthy food-group foods is to offer the healthy foods frequently. And one way to get them interested in healthy foods (and maybe even to try them) is to get them involved in shopping and cooking.

Ideas to get your preschooler helping with foods and eating healthy:

  1. Before you leave for the grocery store, ask your child for some ideas about food-group foods and beverages you should buy to feed the family. They may surprise you by naming foods that the family eats, even if they are foods your child skips.
  2. Make grocery shopping into a learning game of colors, counting and food groups (i.e., peppers comes in different colors like orange, green and red; let's count out 4 potatoes, yogurt is in the Dairy group). A trip to the local farmer's market can be a fun adventure.
  3. Give your child a chance to cook/play with unfamiliar food (smash, smell, squish) and beverages at younger ages and handle foods like washing vegetables, tearing lettuce and pouring milk from small pitchers as they get older.
  4. Exposing kids to a variety of foods from all the food groups – whether in the store, during food preparation or on the family table – encourage them over time to try and learn to enjoy all types of foods.

Kitchen Activities for Preschoolers

Try these age-appropriate activities to get your child interested in cooking and eating healthy foods from all the food groups





  • Play with pots, plastic containers and wooden spoons on the floor
  • Hand grocery items to adult to put away
  • Imitate cooking preparation with plastic bowls and toddler spoons
  • Spin salad
  • Rinse vegetables
  • Wipe cans before opening




  • Rinse vegetables
  • Scrub potatoes
  • Count foods
  • Name food and food group
  • Talk about cooking
  • Shape meatballs
  • Tear lettuce
  • Scoop and mash ingredients

4- to 5-year-olds



  • Count items
  • Snap peas
  • Peel bananas
  • Shuck corn
  • Break eggs into bowl
  • Pour juice and milk (with help)
  • Help measure ingredients
  • Pour cereal
  • Open packages
  • Make sandwiches
  • Toss salads

Make a Plan to Get Your Child Eating Healthier and Helping in the Kitchen

During I will include the food group of  by serving 

Starting I will ask my child to help with 

Recipes to Get Your Child Helping in the Kitchen and Eating Healthy