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Benefits of cooking with young kids

 
There are so many benefits of cooking with young kids and getting them to help out in the kitchen. It offers them a wide variety of opportunities to learn and grow and boosts their development. Spending time in the kitchen with young kids can also foster an interest in food and cooking that will last for life.
There are so many benefits of cooking with young kids and getting them to help out in the kitchen.

It offers them a wide variety of opportunities to learn and grow and boosts their development.

Spending time in the kitchen with young kids can also foster an interest in food and cooking that will last for life.


Benefits of cooking with young kids


Here are some of the key benefits of cooking with young kids and why it’s so important:

1. It fosters independence. Being able to master new skills is really empowering for children. It also enables them to prepare more and more things without us.

2. Maths. Counting, dividing, fractions, adding, subtracting, doubling, halving, weighing, timing and measuring. What’s not to love?

3. Science. There are so many lessons in cooking. Everything from dough rising to what happens when you heat or cool a mixture or food.

4. Pride. This is a great feeling for anyone. Producing something that you feel is great gives enormous satisfaction.

5. Investment. Any time we cook something we feel invested in the outcome. This is especially important for fussy eaters. They are far more likely to eat something if they have an investment in it.

6. Helping. This is great for young kids for their own sake. Most children love to be involved and to help out. Nurturing that from early on keeps the momentum too! Long-term helping is amazing for parents, as they have children that are willing to put meals on the table.

7. Life skills. Cooking teaches all sorts of life skills, not just prepping and serving food. Even knowing how to do a supermarket shop is something that needs to be learned. 

8. Appreciation. Nothing builds understanding of how much time and effort goes into something as much as walking a mile in those shoes. When our kids are cooking, they see what it takes to get a meal on the table. It also enables us to show appreciation of them when they do the same for us.

9. Learning. Understanding what food looks like in its raw state eg. a potato transforming into a chip is great foundation knowledge.

10. Food hygiene. Everything from hand washing to sterilising worktops to the dangers of raw chicken are important life lessons.

11. Kitchen equipment. What it is and how young kids can learn to use it safely.

12. Motor skills. Dexterity and fine motor skills, coordination, opening packets and containers, pouring – and a whole host of other ways cooking builds competence.

13. Reading and following recipes. For older children, working sequentially through written instructions is great practice. For younger children, following a series of verbal or pictorial instructions in order and precisely is good training for other areas of learning and life.

14. Danger. The kitchen can be incredibly dangerous. Understanding that the oven is hot, knives cut and graters can hurt are important safety lessons.

15. Creativity. Cup cake decorating, arranging salads on a platter or plating food beautifully are all great ways to develop and express our creative talents. 

16. Different tastes and textures. Feeling, smelling and tasting new foods and textures is a great way to become more comfortable around all sorts of foods.

17. Time and patience. Cooking does require patience and the ability for young kids to wait for things to be ready. It can be very character building when things go slightly awry too.

18. Understanding foods in depth. For example, knowing that a potato can be mash, chips, jackets, wedges, boiled or dauphinoise. Using a lemon in a drink, a pie and a chicken dish. Knowing that eggs can be used to emulsify and linseeds to bind.

Source: This article was kindly written for us by The Confident Eater - giving you the tools, the strategies and the confidence to get your picky eater eating.
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