- The New York Times
Cooking is an organic experience that invokes wonder through various textures, smells, and tastes. Cooking with children has numerous benefits from laying the foundation for basic math concepts to instilling healthy eating habits. It can also be a great activity to do together while you might be spending more time at home with your kiddos than usual :)
Here's our top 10 benefits of cooking with children as well as some tips for how kids can help in the kitchen!!
1. Models healthy food choices!
TIP: To help kids use a flame safe cooker, they can use a portable camping stove at the right height for them!
2. Encourages creativity!
3. Aids in social emotional development!
TIP: Have the kids wash and peel produce! Lots of things can be peeled by hand like bananas and onions. If a peeler is needed like for carrots and potatoes, have the child hold the item at the top with the bottom secured on a surface. The child should start peeling at the middle, going down. When the bottom half is done, turn it over and repeat!
4. Helps brain development!
5. Advances motor skills!
TIP: Have the kids do the hard work!! Kids naturally love to smash, crack, and get messy. When cracking eggs, have the kids crack them into a separate bowl to ensure none of those pesky shells get in the rest of the mixture. Also pictured here are some kid-friendly tools for children to use in the kitchen while helping to cook! Juice a lemon with a lemon juicer, slice a strawberry with a slicer, or de-stem kale with a special stripper! Kids LOVE fun, colorful tools!!
6. Conceptualizes math skills!
TIP: Cutting, chopping, and slicing can turn into an easy fraction lesson. The kids, of course, can do this part too! Just make sure to maintain their safety by using a child safe knife. In addition, measuring using measuring cups or spoons is a great use of children in the kitchen! Teach them to level their measurements off with their hand or a butter knife.
7. Improves language skills!
8. Develops science skills!
TIP: All these tools are relatively simple for kids to use! Have them crank the grinder, use the handheld blender (perhaps with a little help steadying the bowl), or spin the salad!
9. Grows self esteem!
TIP: Have the kids plate and decorate how they want, just to take one more thing off your 'plate' ;)