Getting your kids to help out at meal-time is always a good idea. No matter how young or old they are, it’s still worthwhile to involve your children in this crucial aspect of everyday life and healthy living.
While it may take a little extra patience and a little more cleaning afterward, there are numerous benefits to home cooking with the kids. Below, we’ll examine some of those benefits.
1. Teaching an essential life skill
The ability to cook is one of the most essential life skills that your child can learn. When your kids eventually grow up and become independent from you, you want to know that they are equipped with the skills to adequately feed themselves
Don’t just cook for your kids and never try to involve them in this process. If you do this, they will grow up accustomed to meals being prepared for them and won’t know how to do it for themselves once they move into adulthood.
2. Introducing kids to a potential passion
While cooking is a necessary life skill, it is also something that many people take up as one of their passions. Many even take this passion to the next level and turn their love of food preparation into a cooking career.
The only way to find out if your children are potential future foodies and master chefs is to get them involved in the kitchen. There are many different aspects of cooking that can be explored to discover your child’s passion for it. Try to cook a variety of different meals with them, so they get a robust experience of cooking and the joys it can bring.
3. Helps to expand their taste palette
Another unique benefit of teaching kids to cook from an early age is that it works to expand their taste palette, and makes them an adventurous eater. The more exposure you give children to different types of food, the less likely it is that they will become picky eaters throughout the rest of their life.
People become set in their ways the older they get. When you expose kids to a variety of food while they are still young, they will be more amenable to trying new things in the future.
4. Building their confidence
Cooking is an activity in which success and failure can come in equal measure. This means that your kitchen is an ideal place to nurture your child’s confidence and self-esteem, according to the thelowdown.co.nz.
Helping your child to follow a recipe and achieve a delicious end result will give them a sense of pride and accomplishment. The inevitable trial and error they will face while learning to cook will also teach them the benefits of perseverance, an essential trait in the adult world.
5. Promoting healthy home cooking habits
It’s no secret that cooking recipes at home is much healthier (and cheaper) than eating out or ordering takeaway every night of the week. Some of the best home recipes are featured at HelloFresh. Far too often, kids who move out of home end up eating microwaveable meals, instant noodles, or ordering take away for dinner. This usually is because their interest in home cooking was not nurtured from an early age.
When people become older, it becomes more challenging to teach them better habits. Do your kids a favor, and start involving them in home cooking from a young age. Doing this will mean they will appreciate the process of cooking and won’t leave the nest bewildered as to how to do it themselves.
6. Teaching creative, language, and mathematics skills
It is well understood that learning through situational experience is much more impactful than reading from a textbook. The kitchen is an ideal learning environment that teaches kids about more than just cooking.
Think about all the steps taken in preparing a recipe and utilizing cooking equipment. When you read a recipe with a child, it teaches them language skills (describing sights, smells, and sounds). When they need to measure ingredients, it teaches them mathematics skills (volume, weight, etc.) When they experiment with ingredients, the kitchen becomes akin to a science lab, seeing the effect of different cooking implementations and witnessing processes like evaporation and condensation.
Home cooking with kids will also nurture their artistic talents in terms of developing recipes and presenting food on the plate. Food features predominately in many major artworks and can even become art itself. Who knows, your child could also develop an interest in the world of advertising when they learn how to sell people on a meal and present something on the plate that’s too tempting to resist.
7. Developing physical skills & fitness
All of the physical activities involved in preparing food (stirring, chopping, pouring, etc.) have the bonus of improving hand-eye coordination and fine-motor skills in children. For example, carefully pouring an exact amount of an ingredient will allow kids to hone their balance and timing skills, being careful not to overpour or spill.
As you no doubt know, cooking can be a strenuous physical activity as well. Getting kids moving and carrying things around the kitchen, as well as working their muscles with actions like stirring, will also improve their general fitness. Even the most lightweight cooking activity is better than letting the kids sit around watching television.
8. Nurtures your relationship and builds interpersonal skills
Families that cook and eat meals together are far happier and more connected with one another. Cooking with the children is not only an educational activity that nurtures them for the future, but it is also a relationship-building activity that brings you closer together.
Cooking with others requires trust and cooperation. Involving kids in the kitchen not only improves your relationship with them, but it improves their ability to cooperate and build trust with others as well.
Children who know how to cooperate with others to achieve an end goal are going to have an advantage in both their personal and professional lives. Don’t discount the interpersonal skills that nurturing a passion for cooking can impart on your kids.