5 GOOD REASONS TO COOK WITH YOUR KIDS

girl cooking

You appreciate that moment when you cook for the family ? Why not sharing this moment with your kids ? Cooking with your kids is good for their mental development. Below are the 5 good reasons why you should cook with your kids.

1. Engage their senses.

One of the good reasons to cook with your kids is that it will engage their senses. For a hesitant eater, tasting an unfamiliar food can sometimes be intimidating. You can help your child explore foods when cooking using other senses besides taste. This helps to build positive associations with food. Kneading dough, rinsing vegetables, and tearing lettuce all involve touching food and being comfortable with texture. The complex flavors we experience when eating food come from both taste sensations from the tongue AND smelling with the nose. While cooking with new ingredients, some children may feel too overwhelmed to taste. If this happens, you can try suggesting smelling a food first; this may provide a bridge to tasting in the future.

Family cooking
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2. Use cooking to raise smart kids.

There are so many lessons that can be taught while cooking. Math concepts like counting, measurement, and fractions naturally unfold when navigating a recipe with kids. Explaining how food changes with temperature or how certain foods can help our body be healthy provide great lessons in science. While cooking with your child, practice new vocabulary as you describe how food looks, feels, and tastes. Following a recipe from start to finish helps build the skills for planning and completing projects.

Boy cooking brocolis
Image from parenting.com

3. Opportunity to learn family culture.

The family meal can start in the kitchen as you cook together. Family meal preparation is an opportunity to celebrate your cultural heritage by passing down recipes. Help your kids find new, seasonal recipes to add to your repertoire and family cookbook. Cooking together and prioritizing health over the convenience of processed food are great ways to lead by example and help your children buy into a culture of wellness. Building daily and seasonal traditions around cooking together helps strengthen your family’s commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

good reasons to cook with kids
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4. Teach the importance of safety.

Teach kids the importance of staying safe while cooking by showing them how to hold kitchen tools safely, how to use oven mitts to protect hands from heat, and  how to turn appliances on and off safely. Always supervise children when cooking to ensure they are sticking with safe and age-appropriate tasks. The best way to keep cooking safe is to know your child’s abilities and his or her stage of development. A four-year-old child, for example, may not be ready to sauté vegetables over a hot pan, but may have the fine motor skills to rinse fruits or tear salad leaves. Keeping safety in mind, it is not difficult to get kids, even toddlers, involved in the kitchen.

Boy cutting cucumber
Image from wtwp.com

5. Include them in decision making.

Children feel more included in mealtime when they are asked to be a part of meal preparation. Collaborate with your kids when selecting recipes for main dishes or sides. Let them help you make the shopping list and find groceries in the store or supermarket. When cooking together, let children offer a critique of the foods you are preparing. Together you can decide what ingredients you should add to enhance the flavor. Talk about how people enjoy different tastes, and share your preferences with each other. Letting children be “in charge” of details like how to set the table will help them feel invested in mealtime.

Parents and kid choosing vegetables
Image from wellbeing.com.au

Now you have good reasons to cook with your kids. But do not take it too seriously during the preparation of the meal, let the moment be a fun family moment. You can even take photos of your kid to remember the first time he or she cooked for all the family.

Do you let your kid cook with you ? What do you think about it ?

Share your opinion about all these good reasons with other mums and let a comment below.

 

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