Kids in the Kitchen: 3 Reasons Why Kids Should Cook
There are many reasons why we like to work solo in the kitchen. It’s much quicker without little hands getting messy, and with busy schedules during the day, it can just be much easier.
But for children, cooking is power. It’s the one chance for them to let their imaginations run wild, discover new skills and experiences, and practice teamwork, without any judgment or pressure. If you don’t make time for play in the kitchen, here are three reasons why you and your kids should start.
Creative problem solving
Recipes are very similar to jigsaw puzzles. The process requires brain power at every step of the way, from preparing the sequence of ingredients and actions, assessing the progress and evaluating the end result (taste test!). Encourage your kids to use their imagination and experiment to better understand the process. If they want to put twice as much milk in, let them. If they want to use white chocolate instead of milk chocolate, let them. By seeing what happens, they will start to learn valuable creative problem-solving skills.
Try making our delicious banana and caramel sticky rice pudding together!
Self-confidence and responsibility
Cooking is a great way to boost a young one’s confidence and make them feel important in the family. Giving them the task of preparing a meal (with some of your help, of course!) will lift their self-esteem and show them that their contribution is needed. It’s also a great opportunity to show them how powerful teamwork can be. Collaborating on recipes, preparing meals for others, and sitting at the table with the final result teaches them the power and positivity around sharing; which is central to a happy social life.
Healthy eating and nutrition
It’s amazing how much a fussy child will try new food when it’s something they’ve cooked themselves. Giving them a sense of ownership over what they put in their mouths can be a great tool for kids to take some initiative and test new healthy foods. Treat the kitchen not only a place of fun, but also as a space for learning about the essential vitamins and minerals needed to grow happy, healthy and strong. Help them understand why we need to eat certain foods, how they help our bodies, what foods go well together, and what a balanced meal should look like.
For dinner time, slip some healthy green veggies into our mac n’ cheese, they won’t know the difference!
Who knows? With all of these little moments of creativity, discovery and learning in the kitchen, maybe your little one will invent the next family favourite cake recipe, or even become the next Masterchef…
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