Learning about nutritious ingredients
Parents who cook with their children are able to teach them how to combine healthy ingredients together to create balanced and nutritious meals. As you cook with your child, take the time to explain the health benefits of each ingredient. Talk through your decisions and allow your child to see the intentionality behind each decision that you make. This process of talking to children about the ingredients that are being used in each meal will allow them to see that there is more to cooking than choosing the right flavors. A conscientious cook will balance great flavors with nutritional values to ensure that they have a balanced diet. Cooking with children allows them to develop healthy eating habits that will stick with them throughout their lives.
Many parents are hesitant to cook with their children because they have concerns about kitchen safety. Knives, hot water, and fire can all be sources of danger if children have not been taught proper safety procedures. This is all the more reason to spend time cooking with your children. Use cooking time to teach older children how to open an oven, how to handle kitchen knives, and how to make sure the flame is not too high. It might also be a good idea to point out the location of the fire extinguisher, although one hopes they will never need it. For younger children, give them low risk tasks such as washing vegetables, measuring ingredients, and mixing dough. Have them watch you as you perform some of the more difficult tasks and remind them not to attempt those tasks without the presence of an adult. One of the best ways to make sure that your children are safe in the kitchen, is to teach them kitchen safety procedures while cooking together.
Cooking with children teaches them to save money
When families sit down and look at their monthly budget, they are often surprised to find how much money they spent on restaurants, fast food, and take-out. While eating out occasionally can be a nice treat, consistently buying pre cooked food can quickly eat away at your earnings. People who know how to cook and who enjoy cooking will save a lot of money by preparing fresh and nutritious meals at home. When parents cook with their children, they are teaching them a skill that will allow them to save money by preparing their own meals at home.
Children who cook with their parents gain confidence
Children gain confidence as they master tasks that allow them to achieve independence. When children learn new skills, they gain a sense of accomplishment along with the security that comes from knowing that they can take care of themselves. When we cook with our children, we are teaching them a valuable survival skill. In truth, this activity allows children to gain a sense of pride from knowing that they are no longer dependent on others to prepare meals for them. In fact, they gain confidence from knowing that they can prepare meals for you and for other family members. When we take the time to cook with our children and teach them new skills, we are investing in their self-confidence and building up their sense of independence.
Cooking with children creates irreplicable memories
When we cook with our children, we are bonding with them over food. Cooking together creates memories in the kitchen that children will carry with them throughout their lives and hopefully replicate when they grow up and cook with their own children. It is a time for families to unplug from electronics, talk, laugh and enjoy making delicious and nourishing meals together.
Parents who are new to cooking with their children can start out by creating simple sandwiches, pastas, and salads. When you feel more comfortable, try making more complex dishes with your children. Make cooking together a part of your weekly routine and watch your children blossom as they gain confidence and learn the value of nutrition.