8 reasons to include the kids in the kitchen!
Preparing a dinner for the whole family is a major accomplishment in every busy family. However, before you ban your kids from the kitchen so you can cook in peace, consider inviting them in the cooking process next time.
Cooking has many long-term benefits for children, it can help them develop creativity and imagination, they learn to pay attention to small details and becoming familiar with new foods.
Check out these 8 ways that cooking can benefit your children:
- Builds practical skills
Cooking at a young age helps to develop fine motor skills (small muscles that move the hand, fingers, and thumb). These skills help children perform essential tasks like writing. By setting a few kitchen tasks, such as mixing, spreading and pouring, your child can practice and improve their fine motor skills.
- Improve problem -solving techniques
Reading a recipe, understanding step-by-step instructions, can also be a great life skill to learn. Following recipes encourages children to become independent and develop problem-solving techniques.
- Increase their maths skills
Cooking can be a fun way that will help children learn basic math skills. Almost every recipe requires maths skills like counting (3 teaspoons), fractions (1/4 cup), and measurement (using 150mL).
4.Introduces kids to scientific concepts
Cooking involves a great deal of science. Kids learn what happens when certain ingredients are mixed as well as what happens when the measurements are incorrect.
- Provides quality family time
Cooking with your children allows you to bond with them by spending time together. Sometimes this is the perfect time for kids to open up to parents. Cooking at home can also build stronger relationships between siblings by working together to complete the same goal.
- Improves confidence
Giving your child the opportunity to cook, can boost their self-confidence. Try to encourage them to join you and continue to tell them that they did a very good job, or that they completed a step well.
- Broadens their palates
Children who are involved in the creation of their meals are more likely to eat their meals. This is because cooking exposes children to new food, and gives them the opportunity to engage with all of their senses, i.e., touch, sight and taste.
Last but not least, cooking with kids can be fun and enjoyable for both the children and adults, all while you create lasting memories that your children may treasure forever.
Tips for managing mess in the kitchen
- Before you start, tidy up the area where you will be cooking
- Get your child ready – put them in aprons, chef hats, and clothes you don’t mind getting dirty
- Teach them about food hygiene – explain the importance of washing their hands
- Teach them to clean up as you go
- Divide responsibilities and give everyone their own task (To prevents fighting, and allows more organisation into the kitchen
- Be careful of things that are sharp (knives, graters, peelers) and that are hot (oven, water).
Clinical Dietitian- Nutritionist, MSc