Now that she has graduated from the basics, your cook in training is ready to make a real meal. Besides having tons of fun, making quesadillas will teach her how to grate cheese, assemble ingredients, work at the stove and take the first step at developing spatula skills. For kids ready to take it a bit further, carefully teach them how to use a sharp knife to whip up a batch of guacamole.

Set Up For Success: What is mise en place? It refers to the practice of preparing and arranging everything you will need for a recipe. It is a great starting point for assembly line dishes, such as this one. Help your chef line up the ingredients. Open the can of beans, grate the cheese and put them in bowls. A rotary grater is a good place to start, but more experienced kids should learn how to use a regular grater. Keep your cheese cold, remove it from the refrigerator right before you grate it. Grip it at the top, leaving enough room between your fingers and the grater. Pretend your are petting a kitten, soft easy strokes.

Warm Things Up: Make sure you go over the rules first. Then show her how when the pan is hot enough, a drop of water flicked onto it will dance and evaporate. Tell your child to always keep a close eye on anything that is over heat. Sometimes a recipe will call for medium-high heat, but don’t be afraid to turn the heat to low or even remove the pan from the stove.

Flip and Serve: A long, skinny spatula makes for flipping much easier for your trainee. Show your child how first, then give her a try. Give her the kitchen shears for cutting the quesadillas into serving portions. If she can use scissors, she should be able to cut the pieces easily.

If your child is not quite ready for this yet, then check out our post on the novice chef. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your friends. Remember to always praise your child.



  1. […] quite ready for all of this just yet, try your hand at the apprentice chef. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you […]

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