5 Reasons to Cook With Children

How cooking develops certain life skills

The Basics





Cooking for children or cooking with children?

It’s more than preparing food, cooking is teaching children skills and habits which not only prepare them for adulthood but also help them to grow personally and have higher self-esteem. We all should encourage our children to get involved with meal prep as this has big benefits. Let’s look closely into cooking skills. 

Based on studies in the UK ( Irleand) Cooking skills are increasingly included in strategies to prevent and reduce chronic diet-related diseases and obesity. Results showed that child (<12 years) and/or teen (13–18 years) learners had significantly greater numbers of, and confidence in, their cooking and food skills, cooking practices, cooking attitudes, diet quality (with the exception of fibre intake where adult learners were higher) and health.

5 Life Skills Children Develop While Cooking

1. It teaches children about planning and patience. 

Cooking or baking is somewhere between an art and a science. That means there’s room for creativity, flow but there are also rules to be followed to make the piece work. 

For kids to fully appreciate how much work goes into mealtime, why not put them as a part of every step such as:

  • choosing a recipe
  • searching the fridge for ingredients
  • making the list for grocery shopping
  • washing and chopping and mixing the items 
  • watching you set the stove

Your kids will understand the importance of logical planning, along with patience and delayed gratification (after all that work, they’ll still have to wait for those cookies to bake and cool).

2. It Introduces Concepts Related to Science and Math

Math is all about counting and proportions for example and so it is cooking and baking. We convert measurements, whether it’s reinforcing a ½ cup is twice the size of a ¼ cup, or that one tablespoon is the same as three teaspoons. It is also the science behind this. 

Depending on the recipe, there may also be multiplication or division.

The kitchen also offers lots of basic science lessons when it comes to chemistry. Discuss why baking powder makes things rise or why we need hot temperatures in the oven to cook.

3. It Is A Great Way to Learn About Nutrition

When kids are involved in meal and snack preparation, they learn about the importance and value of eating whole foods (instead of processed foods).

It also gives kids the knowledge and tools they need to feel confident preparing nutritious food for themselves in the future.

When children get more involved in food concepts they start learning about variety and balance in their food choices. They also grow their creativity by exploring different flavour combinations.

Plus, cooking and baking show kids the building blocks of their favourite recipes. Seeing raw ingredients transformed into something new can be mind-blowing. This is an important lesson for kids with food allergies — it reminds them that they can’t always see the peanuts, so they need to ask.

In general, children preferred fruits to veggies, but children who helped with cooking showed a greater preference for both. Vegetable preference was also 10 percent higher among children who helped cook.

4. It Supports Important Lessons About Staying Safe

Kitchens can be full of dangerous objects, heavy pots, very hot surfaces, sharp cutleries. It’s key to have safety talks before and during the time in the kitchen with kids.  

It is important to make a child feel comfortable around us in the kitchen not being too harsh when comes to our habits and rules. What do you feel comfortable with?

As kids get older and more comfortable in the kitchen, as they start using the oven and sharp knives with their own control. 

It is also a great place to teach children about hygiene. How to wash hands and properly handle certain ingredients. 

5. We are Growing a Strong Bond with Kids

For many busy families, getting kids involved with cooking starts out as a necessity and then becomes a treasured bonding activity. 

Looking at old family dishes ideas or new recipes. 

The conclusion is making fun with children by combining learning techniques in the daily routine of basis like cooking or cleaning as well as even food shopping. This way children will have a better understanding of what is important in life, learn to be more respectful and caring towards family and others around.


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