What kind of freedom do your kids have in the kitchen? My two big concerns are safety and mess. I can tolerate a certain level of mess without batting an eye but flour -- kneading mess -- gets to me, because a trail of flour is likely to follow them wherever they go after wards.
My oldest (soon to be 7) now makes his own peanut butter sandwiches. He wants to cut his apples and slices his own cheese. As of this week, I am reluctantly (knives!!!) letting him take over part of the snack prep for his sister and himself.
The next level will be actual cooking. Both kids love mixing pancake batter, for example, but now the oldest wants to make the pancakes himself. He also wants to make his own eggs. I let him do that with supervision. He of course wants to do it without! I don't blame him; no one likes to be hovered on in the kitchen!
I am ceding when I think they are ready but the idea of them thinking they can handle the stove on their own kind of scares me. It is a gas stove and it can easily be left on.
Anyone out there whose kids enjoy working in the kitchen? Share stories/strategies/worries? Total kid proof recipes welcome too!