Not every child is going to win Masterchef Junior. However, cooking with your children has many benefits that help foster growth. Besides letting you spend time with your children, cooking provides a controlled environment where your family can learn about food together.
Benefits of cooking with your children:
- Build confidence:
When you cook with your children, you are helping them build their confidence. They will feel a sense of accomplishment when they can taste the fruits of their labour. Furthermore, cooking shows your child what happens when a task is carried out until the end and teaches them about responsibility. Your children will learn that their contribution to the activity matters and that will give them a sense of pride.
- Teach teamwork:
When you cook with your children, you are a team. Cooking with the whole family shows your children how to work with others, how to delegate tasks and what happens when everyone is on the same page.
- Explore creativity:
Cooking with your child lets them use their imagination and explore their creativity. Things may get messy but that’s part of the process. Let your children set the shapes and colours of what you cook. Chicken nuggets and beef patties can be any shape and colour your child wants. A little food colouring and a dinosaur mold goes a long way!
- Improve science and math skills:
Any culinary experience teaches children about accuracy and problem solving. Cooking with your children gives them a chance to improve their math and science skills by following a recipe, measuring out ingredients, making observations and watching food properties transform (such as batter transforming from a liquid to a solid). Cooking also allows your children to boost their observational and fine motor skills.
- Make nutrition a priority:
While cooking with your children, teach them about the different benefits of the foods you’re making. Show them the differences between the food groups and how important each ingredient is to the overall nutritional value of the dish. When children learn that healthy food can taste good, especially if they helped make it, they’ll be more inclined to crave it instead of chips, soda and other processed foods.
Tips for cooking with your children:
- Start out with simple recipes
- Explore your roots and cook food that is popular in your culture
- Substitute sugars and butters with healthier alternatives whenever possible
- Try to cook together more than once a week
- Be patient even if there are spills
- Get them their own mini versions of your kitchen tools so they’re easier to use
- Get plain white aprons and let them decorate them before you start cooking
- Unless your children are older, you should take care of frying and using the oven
The most important thing about cooking with your children is to have fun. Contact Childventures today to learn more.