Cooking with kids is a fun and messy experience. I don't always have my little helper help me, but he loves to use the hand mixer. I have heard so many people say how hard it is to bake or cook with their kids, but it is only hard when one makes it hard. Kids LOVE to help in the kitchen, the love to crack open eggs, mix things, stir things, pour ingredients. You can give them simple tasks when they are little like being the "Super Awesome trash guy/girl" which just involves throwing away things like butter wrappers, cream cheese cases, etc.
As they get older they are great with stirring, pouring, mixing. My guy is 5 and to make things simple we decided to make sugar cookie stars out of the packaged cookie dough. It was less frustrating for him and me. Of course things will be messy, so you need to set aside your "neat freak" mentality, kids like to give their own pizazz to what they make, which may not look pretty, but it makes them feel good. If you want perfect dinners, then yes it will be hard to cook with your young ones, but the kitchen experience should never be a stressful one it should always be fun!
Just watch out on cracking those eggs, especially in a stand mixer. I would suggest turning it off while the egg is being cracked and be sure to wash your hands well!