Inside: Cooking with kids can be challenging, but the developmental benefits outweight the challenges.
Cooking with my preschooler generally results in a bigger mess in my kitchen than usual. It requires so much more planning and preparation than cooking alone. At any moment he could empty an entire bottle of vanilla into the cookie dough or dump a bag of flour.
But cooking with kids doesn’t have to be stressful. Additionally, the developmental benefits of taking on a cooking project far outweigh the challenges. Shared below are 5 reasons to cook with your child!
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The Benefits of Cooking with Kids Outweigh the Challenges
Do you have a favorite recipe to cook with kids? My kids love to help me make scrambled eggs, cookies, smoothies, and sandwiches. Cooking together is fun and makes my kids feel grown up, confident, and responsible.
Whether dessert, dinner, breakfast, or lunch, cooking with kids is fun and has many positive benefits for both parent and child.
1. Mindfulness Through Paying Attention
I’m sure we’ve all put something together when we weren’t really paying attention and used a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon. Cooking requires a great deal of focus and is best done without multi-tasking. Your child will naturally be in the moment and develop concentration skills while cooking.
2. Following Directions
Of course when cooking something, you have to follow the directions. And we all want our children to develop that ability! Cooking is a great way to make following directions fun with a delicious end result.
3. Learning the Value of Food
We all have times where we’re in a hurry and go through a drive-through or throw in a frozen pizza. But feeling real gratitude for our food will develop when children are part of the process of preparing what they eat.
4. Understanding Nutrition and Taking Care of Ourselves
Taking the time to prepare food will naturally lend itself to learning about nutrition and why it’s important. Cooking together will help establish healthy eating habits, and you may find that kids are more willing to try new foods!
5. Brain and Language Development
As you cook, you’ll be asking and answering questions and talking through steps. Making their way through a recipe will help children develop problem-solving, math, and language skills.
With some patience and preparation, cooking easily becomes a favorite parent/child activity. It will bring the family closer together and has some really tasty and valuable end results. So grab your recipe book and head to the kitchen!
What positive benefits do your children receive from cooking with you? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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