I love the kitchen and everything it stands for; housing, cooking, and eating food! I love creating and tasting dishes, and most definitely consider myself an amateur chef, and full fledged foodie. Having my daughter help me in the kitchen is pure joy for me, and from my observations, she feels the same way. Getting her involved has far more benefits than the opposite, and the experience is helpful to both of us.
There are many ways I include my daughter when I am in the cookery. At about 10 months old, I created a drawer just for her. I use a bottom pull out drawer, and stock it with items that are safe. Some tools that I put in my daughter's drawer are spatulas, whisks, bowls, plastic cups, plastic food storage containers, plastic jars, and wooden spoons. When I am in the cook's room, my daughter can open her drawer and play with items she sees me use. It work fantastically for us.
Besides having her own kitchen accessories, my daughter also helps me cook. It may seems like a 19 month old is not capable of doing "real" things in the kitchen, but I find the contrary to be true. She is able to carry light items from the pantry, pour with assistance, and help mix. She can also press down on batters that need to be in a pan, and place toppings on foods like pizza. She is also a very good taste tester!
When we need to set the table, I have my daughter put napkins out, as well as spoons. If I am using paper products, she is able to put those out as well. Again, my tot is able to carry some items to the table if they are safe and light. For instance, she can take the plastic ketchup bottle out of the refrigerator and bring it to the dining table.
Cleaning up is fun for my little one also, and I am taking advantage while I still can! My daughter loves to wipe her highchair, the table, and the floor with a paper towel. She also throws things in the garbage, and puts items back in the refrigerator. If I lift her up, she can put safe dishes in the sink, and holds the dustpan for me.
Though some things take longer when my little one is helping, it is better than not being able to do them all. I find that if she helps, my daughter does not get bored, and I can actually complete kitchen tasks. I have a blast watching her learn to do things, and she has fun assisting. My tot gains so many useful skills and we get to share a passion of mine; it is a win-win in my house.