KIDS IN THE KITCHEN
The Value of Cooking
Why teach your children to cook? It may seem that it will create more of a mess than it’s worth but there are many good reasons to introduce your children to the joys of cooking.
It gives you the opportunity to teach your children valuable lessons. Cooking can be a great way to reinforce subjects being taught at school or introduce new ones. Here are just a few of the skills cooking can help teach your children:
- Simple math skills – Many recipes can be doubled or halved, which will require math skills such as dividing and multiplying.
- Nutrition – Use your time together in the kitchen to teach your children the importance of good nutrition. Encourage them to try new fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods.
- Following directions – Recipes need to be put together in a specific order. This can help show your children the importance of following directions, whether they are baking a cake or doing a science experiment.
- Measuring – Using measuring cups to get the appropriate amounts of ingredients teaches about the importance of careful and accurate measuring.
- Sensory awareness – Cooking and baking can expose your child to new textures, tastes, colors, odors, and more.
- Language skills – Reading food labels and recipes can help your children improve their reading skills and learn the meanings of unfamiliar words.
- Art – From making a face out of vegetables on a pizza to decorating cookies with sprinkles and icing, cooking provides endless opportunities for artistic expression!
- Cultural awareness –Are your children intrigued by the exotic flavors, colors, and aromas found in many ethnic dishes? Introducing your children to ethnic dishes may encourage them to learn more about the culture and people that inspired the dish.
Cooking can help channel your children’s natural curiosity. Why not take advantage of your children’s inquisitiveness and introduce them to the fun and pleasures of being in the kitchen? Since many foods will change dramatically in size, color, and texture during the cooking or baking process, your children will likely be fascinated as they watch these changes take place right before their eyes.
Learning to cook may help your children overcome picky eating habits. Children who are finicky about what they eat may be more inclined to try foods if they prepared or assisted in making them. They might also develop a sense of pride and accomplishment about the things that they have created.
Cooking is a great way for the family to spend time together. Families can get so busy that they lose touch, even while living in the same house! So why not take a Saturday afternoon and bake some cookies or a cake together and get some conversation going?
Teaching your children to cook may inspire a future career choice. By taking the time to introduce your children to the kitchen, you may be helping them develop an interest in cooking that will become a lifelong passion. And who knows, you just might end up with a professional chef in the family!