As soon as you think they’re old enough, why not involve your child in cooking? This is not just to get them helping out with dinner (although this is a nice bonus!) but because there is a huge amount your kid can gain by spending time in the kitchen.
Here are our top 6 benefits of cooking with children.
1. A life skill
So many young adults start out in their own homes these days not having a clue how to cook, and rely on junk food and takeout.
Get in early with some lessons and your child will love you for it in the years to come!
2. Written instructions
Being an adult is all about following written instructions.
Whether it’s assembling a bookcase from Ikea, playing a board game or completing a college assignment, the real world demands an ability to read something, follow instructions and then deliver results. But most of what kids are asked to do is in the form of verbal instructions; cooking is a great way to practice using written instuctions.
So by cooking with children you are getting them reading and interpreting recipes and gearing them up for the future!
3. Vocabulary boost!
Watch closely any cooking show and you’ll see how many interesting words are used and how dynamic the language is!
Combine, mix, pour, drizzle, carefully, gently, attach, fasten, stir, blend, roast, fold, beat, whip, flambé!
The list goes on and on!
4. Imagination and creativity
Involve your child in some of the challenges you face to help stimulate their creative juices.
Maybe you’re missing an ingredient – what might a good substitute be? How can we make this recipe better? What’s a totally new way we can do this?
Cooking is a lovely way to slip in lots of math practice! For example:
- This recipe is in metric – how do we convert grams to ounces?
- This recipe is for 4 people but we’re cooking for 6 – how much do we need to change the quantities by?
- These instructions are for a less powerful microwave than ours – how much should we alter the time by?
- These are the ingredients we need to buy. How much money will we probably need?
- How much flour does the recipe require? Can you read it and then pour out the appropriate amount?
Cooking with children and spending time in the kitchen to prepare a meal for the whole family is a great way to emphasize the importance of sharing.
It takes a lot of effort to make a good meal and aside from the pleasure at seeing the family enjoy it you get nothing in return!
The ability to cook is a wonderful skill. We hope you have fun as you (safely) impart your knowledge to your child.
And if you’re a bad cook yourself, all the better! Simply go on to YouTube and watch how an expert cooks a certain meal and then replicate it yourselves!