“Cooking is at once child’s play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love.”
― Craig Claiborne
The kitchen is considered the heart of the home and is a pretty magical place for most of us. As morning dawns, the kitchen starts buzzing with different textures, aromas, colours, and noises. It is not uncommon for a child to get excited with all these actions and want to experience the same; hence, they frequently want to ‘help’ their parents cook food. Parents should grab this opportunity and encourage their children to cook with them. Cooking is a complex skill. So every time they engage in cooking, it will teach them new things.
So today, we will explore the benefits of cooking with children. Let’s go!
Cooking is one of the few activities that can improve multiple skills at once. Furthermore, cooking with children will enhance parent-child bonding as you spend quality time together. Here are a few lesser-known benefits of cooking with children.
Willingness to try new foods. The preparation of food gives children a chance to see, smell, and touch the ingredients, which may encourage them to try something new. This sense of control over cooking the food increases the possibility that it will be tasted and consumed by your child.
Presents an opportunity to discuss nutrition. While cooking with children, parents can talk to them about the nutritional factors of each vegetable or fruit that they are handling. There is no better time to broach the topic of moderation and explain how foods must not beare not classified as good or bad. In addition, parents should speak to their children about proper hygiene habits, such as washing their hands before touching food.
Fosters maths and literacy skills. Cooking is a precise task, especially baking. Cooking meals requires children to apply multiple mathematical concepts like measuring, sequencing, etc. They also have to read the recipes and know what the terms mean, which helps them build their reading and vocabulary skills.
Enhances social skills. Cooking together with parents will allow children to experience and strengthen social skills such as teamwork, sharing, being responsible, etc. Their listening and communication skills also develop when everybody participates.
Builds confidence. There is no doubt that cooking is an essential life skill. Being able to fix a supper for themselves, albeit a simple snack like a sandwich, will boost the child’s confidence. Moreover, cutting fruits and vegetables under your supervision, and presenting what they learnt in school, such as measuring, will provide a sense of accomplishment to the children.
Cooking with children can be quite fulfilling as parents share their favourite dishes, family food traditions and recipes, etc., with them. Find age-appropriate recipes that children can do with little to no help from you.
You can assign kitchen duties to children, such as greasing pans for baking, washing vegetables and fruits, measuring and counting ingredients, etc. As always, be patient with your children and remember that it will take a while for them to cook or even be interested in cooking. Until then, enjoy the process and have delicious home-cooked meals!
Have you tried cooking with your child before? How did it go? Let us know your experience in the comments below.
“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She wholeheartedly believes in the quote by Arthur Rubinstein that says – “if you love life, life will love you back”. She is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grades 2 & 3, as a part of the Teach For India Fellowship. These little girls have a special place in her heart, and when she writes for children, she writes for them!
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