Did you know that cooking with your kids can boost their development and build good habits?
If you want to encourage healthy eating at your home, start right from the beginning. The best way is to involve kids in cooking as most of them find it a joyful experience. Over time, cooking with your little ones can help build good habits by providing rich sensory experiences. When you let your kids help in the kitchen – in washing and cleaning veggies, garnishing and serving from a casserole, it makes them feel like a part of the family. When they help in something of their choice, they feel a sense of accomplishment. The happiness reaches the next level when the family sits together to eat the food they helped to cook.
Children should learn to cook as it’s a basic life skill and they should feel comfortable with the ingredients in the kitchen. Also, they should be able to differentiate between what’s healthy and what’s not.
Given all that, let’s discuss a few reasons to encourage kids to help you out in the kitchen. Check them out…
1. Build Basic Skills
Cooking doesn’t just help your kids learn some basic skills but also helps with their studies. If your kids are small, you can start with asking them to count something like eggs, vegetables, fruits, etc, and make them understand the shapes. Furthermore, having some basic knowledge about the main ingredients, they will be able to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy food. Also, you are introducing new words which add up to their vocabulary.
2. Makes them Happier and Healthier
One of the best things you can do for your little ones is to develop healthy eating habits and home-cooked meals are an excellent source for this. Involving children in the kitchen right from a young age will cultivate healthy eating habits and this will have lifelong benefits. Also, kids will get to know about the health benefits of different ingredients used in the kitchen.
3. Enhances Fine Motor Skills
Inviting kids to the kitchen will enhance fine motor strength and control. When they mix up the different ingredients, use cookie cutters to make a variety of shapes, or roll the dough, they learn with fun. These skills are an important step in developing academic skills such as cutting, coloring, and writing. Small kids can start with pouring the ingredients into a serving bowl or a casserole and serving them while big ones can flip the pancakes.
4. Introduces to Scientific Concepts
Involving kids in the kitchen is a great way to introduce kids to scientific concepts as cooking involves a great deal of science. Tell your little champs about different ingredients and what happens when they are mixed. Also, discuss what happens when the measurements are not done properly. They will get to know about the health benefits of eating certain ingredients which will develop healthy eating habits.
5. Boosts Attention and Concentration
Cooking is something that needs focus and when you let your kids contribute towards making delicious dishes, they pay attention to each detail. Kids need to stay focused and concentrate on the recipe as they want it to be completed correctly. Children love to try new things and also want to give their best in the first go. This will encourage them to focus on what they do and how they do.
6. Engage other Senses
If your kids are hesitant eater, try involving them in the kitchen and let them try something of their interest. Kids often hesitate to try unfamiliar food and letting them explore foods to engage other senses. Ask if they can help you with rinsing vegetables, kneading dough, mixing ingredients, putting food in a stew casserole, packing food in a hot box or hot case, etc. Let them smell the food first to bridge the gap in tasting different items.
7. They Learn Where Food Comes from
Taking your kids grocery shopping will help them understand where everything comes from. When you cook together, kids learn that their favorite dishes don’t just appear with magic but involve a lot of ingredients and preparation. Show them that they can make their favorite food such as sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, wraps, etc at home using all the healthy ingredients.
8. Helps in Physical Development
When you let your little ones help you with cooking, this also encourages their physical development. The activities like rolling, squeezing, measuring, stirring, and spreading allow kids to develop their fine motor skills. It also keeps them away from their electronic gadgets such as mobile phones, gaming machines, and television. Cooking hits a range of senses and a range of learning styles.
9. Builds Relationships
A kitchen is a great place for everyone to spend quality time with each other. The kitchen is said to be the heart of every home and it can be a place to talk about your traditions and making your kids understand them. You can start by discussing the passed-down family recipes and how you used to enjoy everything when you were a kid. Also, it can be a great way to catch up with day to day life of your little ones.
10. Makes Cooking Super Fun
When your tiniest chefs are involved in the cooking, everything becomes super fun. It is only them who will be enjoying but you will also enjoy spending good times with them. Also, it is one of the easiest and healthiest ways to make them understand what they eat and why they eat. Furthermore, this will encourage them to pack their lunch in a hot box or casserole.
If you love to cook and want your kids to get involved, it will be good to buy a good-quality casserole set or an insulated casserole. This will help you keep food safe and warm for an extended period. Also, this will encourage good habits in the kitchen as kids will learn to keep the food covered.
Asking for your kid’s help in the kitchen will make them confident about what they eat and learn new things, all while you create lasting memories to treasure forever.