As a parent, it’s your job to teach your children better ways to learn how to communicate, learn patience, and responsibility. A fun way to connect with your kids and promote social learning is by teaching them how to cook!
The most important part of this process is patience. You’ll want your children to associate cooking with positive feelings—so even when they mess up, it’s okay. Cooking will teach your children how to take ownership, and build up their confidence and self-esteem. They’ll feel accomplished after they’ve done a certain task, which boosts child development.
Cooking also helps build necessary life skills, as well as comprehension and math skills. Every recipe requires accurate measuring and counting, and understanding the step-by-step instructions promote listening and understanding. Cooking also reinforces healthy habits as it allows them a hands-on experience of what nutrition entails. Research has found that those who develop cooking skills earlier on in life cook more vegetable-forward meals, and avoid fast-food. Lastly, cleaning up after themselves in the kitchen also promotes responsibility, and has numerous benefits for their lifestyle.
Convinced that your kids need to get into the kitchen? Read on to find out how to get them involved.
Ease Them Into It
Start by giving them doable tasks at first, like assembling ingredients. Tell them to use measuring cups, bowls, and other raw ingredients that don’t require much work. Start with cooking simple dishes, such as eggs, salads, and cakes. Leave the three-course meals for when they’re experts!
Teach your kids about frequent handwashing, storing foods and leftovers at correct temperatures, and warn them of the dangers of using knives. Allow them to use a kid-friendly knife, and supervise at all times. The best way to teach them about safety is by explaining and demonstrating how to use a certain tool, cutting techniques, and use cut-resistant gloves.
Make it Fun!
The more involved kids are in crafting a meal, the more likely they’ll enjoy the whole experience. Instruct when required, but let them take the lead. Allow them to express their creativity, expose them to different cuisines and foods, and let them experiment! Start with easy to cook meals, let them develop an interest, and go onward from there.