Teaching our kids to be independent is not easy, it doesn't always go smoothly, but it is always worth it. -Katie Kimball

35: How to Teach Kids to Clean up the Kitchen

Kids are messy in the kitchen!!!

Parents tell me this all the time, which means it must be part of the hard job of parenting to teach them to clean up. We’re still working on it in the Kids Cook Real Food household, but we have some tried-and-true after-dinner routines that we’d like to share with you today, and you’ll see me live-teach some new habits to my kids as well!

I hope this is helpful to you as you try to work yourself out of job by raising healthy, independent, responsible kids!! Pick a day this week to start creating new dinnertime habits for your kids!

Watch Teach Kids to Clean Up on YouTube.

No time to watch the whole video? Here are the notes!

Cleaning the Kitchen Video Time Stamps

  • 0:00: I get asked all the time if I’m going to make a video showing your kids to clean up in the kitchen. Kids make a mess when they cook! My kids don’t yet clean up after themselves, but I’m going to share the dinner time habits we have and teach some new cleaning techniques today!

As parents, we want to work ourselves out of a job. -Katie Kimball

  • 0:48: We want to gradually teach our kids how to be responsible and independent so that they can take care of themselves when they’re grown up. We don’t want to be cleaning up after our kids until they leave home.
  • 1:57: As our kids grow up they get new responsibilities based on their age. Listen for a couple examples of how that’s worked in our family.
  • 2:28: Paul (13) shares his current dinner time duties.
  •  2:45: John (7) explains the “Levi Habit.”
  • 3:04: The kids all show us their after dinner routine.
  • 3:37: We talk about washing the table. There are three steps to remember: clear everything off the table, anything that stays in the center of the table gets back in order, and then you wash the table.
  • 4:40: Leah demonstrates the table washing method we teach in our VIP class. I give some tips as we watch her.
  • 6:20: Paul shows us how he puts away the leftovers.
  • 7:10: We learn how to clear the counter. We put away things that don’t belong on the counter like dishes or food that belongs in the pantry or fridge. Anything that belongs on the counter gets put in its spot. Then we use a cloth to wash the counter using the same up and down method used on the table.
  • 8:52: My mom taught me that when you clean up the kitchen after a meal, you always wipe down the stove too. That way you don’t get anything burnt on. Leah and I demonstrate.

“Mooooom, I’m hungry!!”

How many times do your kids ask for snacks each day? Wouldn’t it be a relief if they were empowered to prepared their own snacks, instead of coming to you and whining about how hungry they are?

Download and print:


Kids Cleaning Resources We Mention

Paleovalley Meat Sticks

It can be hard to find healthy snacks that you can take with you on the go. When I want the convenience of a jerky stick, but want a healthy, protein-packed snack option, I grab Paleovalley meat sticks. Paleovalley ingredients have these high standards that you can feel good about:

100% grass fed beef sticks, pasture raised beef sticks

  • 100% Grass-Fed Beef & 100% Pasture-Raised Turkey
  • Never given antibiotics or hormones
  • Gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free
  • 0 grams of sugar*
  • Contains no artificial nitrates or nitrites
  • Non-GMO
  • Naturally fermented and contain gut-friendly probiotics!

*With the exception of Teriyaki, which contains 2 grams of sugar from Organic Honey.

These beef sticks and turkey sticks taste delicious! My favorite is the Jalapeño but my kids love Summer Sausage.

Use this link to get 15% off your order at Paleovalley. Read my Paleovalley Review to learn more!

How to Teach Your Kids to Clean Up in the Kitchen

What You Should Do Next:

1. Subscribe to The Healthy Parenting Connector

Katie Kimball

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2. Try a Free Preview of my Cooking Class for Kids

Our members’ favorite lesson is always our 10-minute knife skills and safety class, teaching techniques with unique & memorable phrases from butter knives to chef’s knives (ages 2-teen). Take a peek here and try it out with your kids.

3. Enroll in the Online Cooking Course for Kids:

Enroll now in the Wall Street Journal’s #1 recommended online cooking class for kids (also rated 5 stars on Facebook). See what fits your family best HERE.

About Katie Kimball

Katie Kimball, CSME, creator of Kids Cook Real Food and CEO of Kitchen Stewardship, LLC, is passionate about connecting families around healthy food. As a trusted educator and author of 8 real food cookbooks, she’s been featured on media outlets like ABC, NBC and First for Women magazine and contributes periodically on the FOX Network.

Since 2009, busy moms have looked to Katie as a trusted authority and advocate for children’s health, and she often partners with health experts and medical practitioners to stay on the cutting edge. In 2016 she created the Wall Street Journal recommended best online kids cooking course, Kids Cook Real Food, helping thousands of families around the world learn to cook. She is actively masterminding the Kids’ Meal Revolution, with a goal of every child learning to cook.

A mom of 4 kids from Michigan, she is also a Certified Stress Mastery Educator, member of the American Institute of Stress and trained speaker through Bo Eason’s Personal Story Power.

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