Cooking with Kids is an enjoyable, engaging activity that offers numerous advantages. It boosts self-esteem, encourages healthy eating habits and even teaches your child something about science and cooking! No matter if your children are toddlers, preschoolers or school aged – there’s never too early to start including them in cooking activities!
Cooking together can be a wonderful opportunity to gain knowledge about other cultures and their recipes! Discussing the ingredients in a recipe, describing how food feels and looks, or explaining how temperatures affect foods provide invaluable lessons in science.
Depending on your children’s age and skill level, you might want to start with simple recipes that require little prep work. This will save time from having an extended cooking session while still giving them the chance to practice essential math concepts like measuring and following directions.
1. Language Development
Teaching kids new words, vocabulary and pronunciation is an essential step in helping them hone their language skills. By discussing what they’re doing as you describe how food looks, feels, smells and tastes to them, you can help them expand their vocabularies and gain confidence in the kitchen.
2. Math Skills
Cooking provides children with a great opportunity to practice their math abilities. As they add ingredients together, they’ll need to use addition and subtraction skills; for instance, counting “stirs” in hand-mixed batter or measuring cups of milk when making pizza dough are all great opportunities to develop these abilities.
Time Management – Preparing a meal takes time, so having your kids help plan the ingredients or set a timer for when it will be ready can teach them time management and the value of sticking to a schedule. They’ll also gain motivation from seeing projects completed on schedule so they may be more inclined to follow instructions and help clean up afterward.
Cooking together with your children offers them an opportunity to express their creativity. They’ll want to customize and personalize the dish they make, or if they’re older, perhaps even design it themselves!
5. Life Lessons
Kids who learn how to cook will have an advantage in their adult lives, as they’ll be able to prepare nutritious meals and save money. This valuable life lesson will serve them well when faced with more choices regarding their nutrition as they transition into adulthood and become responsible adults.
6. Family Bonding
Cooking together as a family can bring you and your child closer together as you work side by side. They’ll learn about each other’s preferences and interests, potentially developing lifelong friendships that will last a lifetime.
7. Be Prepared for Messy Activities
When working in the kitchen with young children, be ready for plenty of messes. Be sure to provide them with a secure workspace and ample time before they are capable of handling more challenging tasks such as mixing.