Top 10 reasons to get cooking with kids
Family life is busy – there’s no denying it. During the week days especially the demands of school, work and after-school activities all add up meaning that it can be tricky for everyone to find the time sit to eat together as a family.
And if you also aim to get cooking with kids – well, the additional mess and time that it can take can make it seem a little daunting.
But fear not. With a little forward planning, cooking with kids can actually be a practical solution to getting the time-pressed family fed.
Whether you have dinner together, a weekend lunch, or even get up half an hour earlier to enjoy a family breakfast it’s worth making the effort.
Here are our top 10 reasons to cook with kids:
Knowing about food. It sounds simple, but the family kitchen is the perfect place to chat informally about where fresh ingredients come from, which food is seasonal or even locally produced. Kids can learn about which foods ‘go’ together and why.
Sensory experiences. Cooking is one of the few activities which uses and even challenges all of the senses. You can see the effects of food cooking – rising or browning; you can hear the sizzle of cooking bacon. Cooking with kids means they can touch the ingredients; the smell of the meal cooking can fill the kitchen or even the house and whets the family’s appetite for the final tasting!
Literacy If you are cooking something new from a recipe get the kids involved with reading the ingredients and method. It all helps with spelling, grammar and building vocabulary.
Numeracy There are loads of numbers involved in cooking. Get your kids to help with the measuring and weighing of ingredients. Teach them about oven temperatures and get them to set the kitchen timer.
Fine motor skills For the younger chefs in the family, rolling dough, whisking, kneading, stirring and pinching ingredients all exercise the fine motor skills of the hands. It is no accident that play do is such a firm favourite at nurseries and pre-schools! For the older chefs, cooking with kids can introduce chopping, peeling and simple knife skills under supervision. Invest in several vegetable peelers so everyone can be hands on!
Life skills By cooking with kids you get to pass on not only favourite family recipes, but the skill to produce a quick hearty meal from a few ingredients like omelettes or pancakes. Cooking also teaches the importance of planning, following instructions and making decisions.
Family time Cooking with kids is an activity all the family can enjoy away from technology and screens. It gives you the space to talk, bond and well, have a laugh! It also gives your kids a sense of being involved in something bigger than themselves.
Confidence Do not underestimate the sense of achievement and accomplishment that kids can get from having made something themselves.
Trying out new things Picky eaters are far more likely to taste and try out new foods if they have been involved in the preparation and cooking. This may not always be a ‘ta-dah’ food epiphany where your child suddenly likes a previously loathed food or dish. It’s more of a process of trying and becoming familiar with a range of foods until they eventually find that they are comfortable with trying anything new and may surprise themselves (and their parents) and what they like to eat.
Creativity Cooking with kids is fun. Even after a hectic day in a busy week it is worth making the time to get cooking with your kids. Once they have spent some time following your recipes and learning the basics you never know what interesting flavour combinations and recipe ideas they will create.
So what are you waiting for? Get cooking with kids with Cookify!