Anyone who has children will tell you they love to imitate what adults are doing. This learning process not only teaches them valuable lessons, but gives them confidence to face the world when they become adults. Sometimes, though, we forget to include them in our daily activities. So why not include them in the day-to-day chore of cooking?
Including our children in everyday kitchen activities is one way we can help them build self-confidence and share the lost art of cooking. Not only that, but cooking together is a great way to bond with your child and learn what a little bit more about what is going on in their lives.
Taking the time to cook with our children helps you teach your kids simple things like math, nutritional values, following directions, measuring, language skills, art, and cultural awareness. Cooking with you expands your child’s pallet by exposing them to new textures, tastes, odors, and colors.
Parents of picky eaters rejoice! Show your child the variety of foods available to them and let him or her make their meal. Your child will be more inclined to try the new food they created than you forcing a new food on them.
Nutrition starts at home. Sharing the nutritional value of food and why eating some foods is better than others will help your child down a healthy path. Making good food choices as an adult will come from this experience.
Simple math is something we all use every day. With younger children especially, share with them how measuring the right amount of ingredients will help the meal taste better. Have them count the number of carrots and other vegetables in the salad. Have them take away food or add food as needed to reinforce math skills
Reading labels and recipes increases language skills and helps them learn the meaning of unknown words.
If you have specific dishes, you make for family celebrations or religious holidays, have your child join you in the kitchen and explain why these dishes are important to your family and culture. Or, increase your child’s awareness of other cultures by learning about different dishes and having them create the meal with you.
Children are curious by nature, so why not use that to your advantage? Use this curiosity to spend time together get a conversation going and show your child the joys of being in the kitchen.