Cooking with your children may sound like a disaster waiting to happen, but you’ll be surprised at how much you’ll enjoy preparing dishes with your kids. Rather than thinking of cooking as a stressful chore, look at cooking from scratch as a golden opportunity to teach your children numerous skills and lessons. So, what can your children from cooking other than recipes, ingredients, techniques, and flavors?
Kids appreciate cooking from scratch
We are blessed with the convenience of buying fresh ingredients from grocers and markets. Cooking classes with your children teach them how to enjoy vegetables, fruits, grains, and meats. The next time you cook a meal, take one of your kids to the supermarket or neighborhood market to teach grocery shopping basics.
They expand their palates
Most children, especially younger ones, are picky when it comes to food. By gently guiding them to try different foodstuffs in a no-pressure environment, your kids are more likely to taste new flavors and textures. Seeing, touching, sniffing, and tasting various ingredients will make them more open to new dishes.
Children learn basic math concepts
Cooking and baking are also science. A no-holds-barred cooking session with your little ones is an excellent time for them to learn basic math through measuring. Younger children can learn how addition or subtraction works when measuring and preparing ingredients, while older ones can work with fractions and portions.
They build their language skills
There is a difference between wet and dry ingredients, and among action words like mix, stir, and whisk. Kids also need to learn how to read a recipe and follow verbal instructions. Cooking with your loved ones is a good lesson on communication skills, as well as letting go of your children’s simple, rookie cooking mistakes.
Kids develop their fine motor skills
Cooking and baking involve a lot of muscle. Your children can fine-tune their motor skills in the kitchen by stirring, pouring, and shaping. You want them to use their hands and get messy. Save the knife skills for when they’re much older, though.
Children boost their self-confidence
By learning new skills and delicious recipes, your kids will boost their self-confidence. What child wouldn’t be proud to say, “I can cook like mom and dad!” As they get older, your not-so-little ones can make easy snacks and food gifts for their younger siblings, grandparents, and friends.
They get a new creative outlet
As the best chefs in the world attest, cooking is mostly an art. Allow your child to think of new recipes and flavor combinations. If they want to make a smiley face pizza with their toppings, let them be. They are far more likely to eat whatever they cooked themselves.
Kids learn the basics of healthy eating habits
In an age of processed foods and fast-food cravings, we want our children to appreciate the benefits that come with cooking or baking from scratch. Besides, instant foods and mixes often come with added fats, salt, and sugar. Years from now, your children will thank you for introducing them to fresh ingredients and simple cooking techniques.
Children spend quality family time together
Nothing brings children and their families together more than food and the kitchen. Cooking is about making memories that will last forever. Your children will fondly remember the quality time spent cooking as a family, as well as the yummy dishes you all made together.
The little ones gain an essential life skill
You want your child to be savvy and love being in the kitchen, and not to be afraid of it. And you certainly don’t want your kids to depend on your cooking or on fatty fast-food and takeaway. Like riding a bike or driving a car, cooking and baking are essential life skills you want to impart to your little one. After all, cooking for yourself and for friends and family is a skill your child will genuinely treasure as they get older.
Being in and around the kitchen is vital for children. As we’ve discussed above, they can learn so much in just a few hours. Not only will your little ones appreciate the work that comes with cooking and the memories that will last a lifetime—they will be amazed by what they can do when cooking and baking with their loving parents.
Get cooking with your kids at The Little Things culinary studio with a fam-bam cookout voucher from KKday starting at 320 SGD. The Little Things is located at 244N Upper Thomson Road, Singapore and is open weekdays from 12:00 noon – 7:00 p.m. and on weekends from 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. For inquiries, call +65 6456 3140 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Words by Carla Martinez-Tensuan
Featured image from The Little Things