Canning with Kids + Best Peach Salsa Recipe

Canning with Kids + Peach Salsa |

Canning with kids isn’t as scary as it sounds – especially when the result is the best peach salsa you’ve tasted. ~ 

Last week I did some old fashioned canning with my kids.

Now before you assume I have gotten too enthusiastic about kids in the kitchen and have gone whacko by letting my kids get near a boiling water bath, let me explain…

This is the first year I’ve let my girls, 9 and 6 years old, into the kitchen while canning. (The 4 year old and baby were not allowed in.)

Peach Salsa |

My kids have learned a healthy respect for hot things, but never to fear them. We are crazy cautious about using oven mitts, turning pot handles to the back of the stove, checking tap water before plunging hands in, etc. To be fearful of hot things causes excited, scared reactions – not slow careful movements. Not to mention that being scared of the stove would mean the 9 year old would not have the satisfaction of making her own sunny-side up egg breakfast.

Canning with Kids |

My girls LOVED canning with me. They loved feeling grown up enough to do it and enjoyed being in the kitchen doing an assembly line of work all together.

And the bonus: the extra helping hands cut my work time almost in half while canning batches of tomato salsa, tomato sauce and Peach Salsa Chili Sauce.


Equipment for kids:
• The smallest rubber gloves you can find + stool to reach counter
• Hair pulled back, long-sleeved shirt, long apron tied tightly, shoes (not sandals or just socks.)

Instructions for kids:
• Explain the process: I used my Ball Blue Book plus this video.
• Play with the cool tools before the stove goes on. No monkey business around hot things:

  • Use jar lifter tongs, to pick up any cup/glass plus different sized canning jars filled with water to practice lifting jars.
  • Stick lid lifter magnet to everything metal around the kitchen

Canning tasks for kids:
• Wash the jars, lids and bands in soapy water; dry
• Wash and scrub all fruits and veggies
• Roughly chop fruits and veggies like bell peppers, peaches, pears and tomatoes – because they don’t need to be uniformly sized
• Slip the skins off tomatoes and peaches after they blanch in hot water to help the skins slip off easily.
• Stir a large pot of salsa (or jelly or pickle liquid)
• Carefully (using rubber gloves) pour hot salsa through funnel into jars.
• Run bubble remover spatula around edge of jar (hold hot jar with rubber gloves)
• Using the lid lifter magnet, fish the lids out of warm water and align on jars
• Screw on bands while holding hot jar with oven mits
• Use jar clamps to carefully lift jars and place into jar basket for processing

Canning with Kids |

Tasks for parents (what I didn’t feel comfortable with my daughters doing yet):
• Fish tomatoes and peaches out of boiling blanching water
• Wipe tops of jars to remove spills before adding lid – this is a critical step – and without a clean top, the jars may not seal properly
• Remove hot jars from boiling hot water bath after processing

Peach Salsa |

And then, it was all over and we all sat back and soaked up the satisfaction of pretty finished jars of this recipe for Peach Salsa Chili Sauce which is TO DIE FOR! The girls and I polished off a whole jar in celebration of our canning success.

Now what do you think, am I’m totally crazy for canning with my kids? Have you ever attempted a surprising feat with your kids in the kitchen?

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  1. What a motivating, fun post to learn with and enjoy
    our children in the kitchen! My 10 yo daughter has
    been a great help making pesto with the food processor
    to use up all Grandpa’s fresh basil before the freeze.
    Our 8 yo daughter really saved me time helping make
    your Rhubarb Spice cake for a back to school gathering
    of friends. Special to maximize our time together after school!

  2. While you had fun canning with the girls I had the pleasure of canning tomatoes with your handsome 4 year old. He worked a straight hour & a half without one complaint & had fun doing it. Grandma

  3. Awesome! Glad they liked it! It’s good to teach em and egg em invved so they want to do it as adults and can teach their kids someday too! :)

  4. This is an awesome post! My first canning experiences began around the age of 9 and they are the best memories ever. I continued canning even as a teenager and now as a mom of teenagers.

  5. Love it! I did canning projects with my mom as a kid, and fondly look back on learning how to “put up” salsas, jams and pickles. Fun activity and practical life skill!
    Mary @ flavorRD recently posted..What I ate in SeattleMy Profile

    • Ha! You’re right Mary, no one ever says ‘put up peaches’ anymore. But my Mom and Grandma said that too. (: It’s a true life skill – even if I didn’t learn it from them. But watching them do it as a kid gave me the confidence to learn myself now that I have kids. And it’s so easy. Just gotta read the directions!

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