Cooking is a vital life skill. Every person should know how to make at least a small number of meals. The fantastic thing about cooking is that while it is a skill in itself, it also helps children learn in so many other areas. We take a look at the top reasons why you should cook with your kids...
Take this opportunity to have some focused time with your kids. You won’t be distracted by chores, work, or even devices. Cooking time is when you get to focus on completing a task together and having fun doing it.
For children of any age, cooking provides learning opportunities. Whether it is learning new words by reading a recipe, learning fractions by measuring ingredients, or simply learning about their own abilities. There is always a chance to learn in the kitchen.
Foster Great Habits
Cooking creates an excellent opportunity to learn about health and healthy foods in a practical way. Involving them in the kitchen at a young age will show your children that cooking at home is just as good as eating out. They will be able to create their own meals when they need to, and not have to rely on the local fish and chip shop to survive! They will develop a lifelong love of food and want to nourish themselves in the right way.
More Chance of Trying New Things
If your child has had a hand in creating the meal then there is a greater chance that they will want to try it. They have seen what has gone into it, and helped create a labour of love. They might even find a new favourite meal, or they might not. The important thing is that they are willing to try.
A Can Do Attitude
Cooking a meal can be a scary thing because there are lots of dangers in the kitchen. There is every chance that you could cut yourself with a sharp knife, or maybe you could burn yourself on a hot pan. Conquering those fears and producing a delicious meal will give your children confidence. They realise that they can do it. It may encourage them to cook restaurant quality meals. It also might encourage them to apply that can-do attitude to other areas in their lives.
Leaning to Play by the Rules
Your kids will quickly learn that if they don’t follow the directions when they are baking, things can go wrong very quickly. If you don’t follow each step, in the right order, then you won’t get the product you want at the end. This means they have to play by the rules, a valuable life skill.
Discovering the Art of Patience
Baking or cooking is not an instant gratification. Your children will learn that some things are worth waiting for. Come on, what is better than warm chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven?
Mess Making and Mess Cleaning
It is inevitable that you will make a mess when you cook. It is even more inevitable when you are cooking with youngsters. But life can be messy. There is something to be said for jumping feet first into a messy situation. The skill of cleaning up our messes is just as valuable, in the kitchen and in other areas of our lives.
The Beauty of Giving
It is rare that you will finish a whole batch of baking by yourselves. Sharing what you have cooked with your family and friends can bring such great joy. Allow your children the wonderful, warm feeling of sharing what they have made. It can be just as good to give, as it is to receive.
So there you have it, cooking with your kids can teach them more than how to feed themselves. There are so many more learning opportunities than what we have listed above, but these ones were our favourites. We definitely think that cooking with your kids is a wonderful – if not messy – experience! Encouraging the skill at a young age might also mean that you get a night off from cooking dinner every so often. I like the sound of that!