Cooking with kids
I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I am one of those parents who find it easier to do things for my kids than to make them do it. Nowhere is it easier to justify the “I’ll just do it myself” mentality than in the kitchen. After all, the kitchen holds knives, food processors, and other potentially dangerous tools. Before simply sending the kids off to play, consider these five reasons why we should have our kids assist us when we cook.
Regardless of your children’s ages and abilities, working in the kitchen demonstrates real life math skills. Measuring ingredients, following a recipe, and calculating servings or cooking time, will hone their arithmetic without them even realizing that they are learning.
In our world of constant activity, our families are on the go all of the time. If you are having trouble scheduling one-on-one quality time with your kids, why not use meal preparation time? Ask them about their day and share a little about yours. The kitchen is a great place to gather and converse.
Cooking is not always considered the required skill that it was a generation ago. While adults may have grown up learning how to can jelly or make a cake from scratch, today’s young adults are better versed in ordering pizza or making macaroni and cheese. Teach your children skills that they will be thankful for the rest of their lives by having them help in the kitchen.
Children of any age can begin to learn to cook. Start with having little ones pour in premeasured ingredients, and by the time they reach their double-digit ages they will be capable of preparing simple meals on their own.
Willingness to try new foods
If you assemble a casserole and set it before your child, they may turn up their nose at the hodge-podge of unknown substances all mingled together. However, if they have measured, poured, stirred, and baked it themselves, they will be excited to discover what the final product tastes like. Of course, they still won’t love every dish, but giving them ownership of the meal is a fantastic way of encouraging choosey eaters to try new things.
Cooking with your children is a simple way of building togetherness and learning into your day, and you just might create some special memories along the way.