By: Erin Rodriguez from http://veganfamilytravels.com/
Teaching Young Kids how to Cook helps Mom in the Kitchen
We are all looking for ways to make our lives easier. Since we all eat 3 meals a day plus snacks, why not have the kids help with the work. This summer my kids have been taking a cooking class that teaches them how to cook independently at home.
Benefits Of Teaching Kids To Cook
Since the kids have started really working on their cooking skills, we have learned quite a lot. Here are 6 benefits of teaching kids to cook:
- Cooking encourages kids to be more adventurous eaters.
When they put work into the food, they appreciate it more and are more willing to try new things. (When my kids make pizza, they love to “sneak eat” the raw veggies when I’m “not looking”. They think they are getting away with something and they are eating veggies. It’s really win/win!)
- Cooking promotes healthy eating.Along with a greater variety of food, kids will also learn to eat healthier when they truly learn how to cook. I’m not talking heating up leftovers or making cereal. Learning how to cook actual meals will help kids eat healthier. They will move away from processed food and can learn to make homemade guacamole or pancakes made from scratch on a griddle.
- Cooking teaches empathy.When kids are familiar with all of the prep, the work that goes into making a meal, they are more likely to appreciate when others do the work for them.
- Cooking instills self-confidence and supports independence.When kids are able to make their own food, it teaches them that they can do different activities, adult activities, on their own. Even small children can help in the kitchen by making a salad or stirring a dish. These types of activities will lead to more independence and give kids a helpful task that they can be proud of.
- Cooking prepares kids for the real world by teaching lifelong skills.Obviously, cooking is a skill that’s needed for a person’s entire life. The longer kids have been cooking, the more experience and knowledge they will have by the time they have to cook for themselves. This type of practice will pay dividends as they become adults.
- Cooking nurtures family bonding and serving each other.Cooking together, learning together, and planning together helps solidify the family bond. Making and serving food to each other is a selfless act that allows the family to support each other as a whole.We’ve been using a weekly meal planning calendar like this one to plan our meals, plan who’s cooking on which night, and create a grocery list together.
What Can Your Kids Actually Do?
Now that you know the benefits of cooking, what can your kids actually do?
Often there is a vast difference between what your kid can do and what you think they can do. With a little bit of instruction, your kids can do a variety of activities in the kitchen.
Here are some skills that different aged kids are able to do:
Toddlers can work on their fine motor skills when they:
- Rinse Fruits and Veggies
- Rip Greens For Salad
- Stir Sauces or Batter
Preschool, Kindergartens, and 1st graders can work on more fine motor skills and independence with the following activities:
- Set The Table and Serve Food
- Participate In Meal Planning
- Cut With Dull Knife
- Measure Ingredients
- Pour and Stir
- Spread Jam
Grade School aged kids can work on their math and reading skills by:
- Reading Recipes
- Doubling The Recipe
- Completing An Entire Dish or even Meal
These older kids can also:
- Cut With A Sharp Knife
- Plan and Serve A Meal
- Cook at the Stove
- Use a Handheld Can Opener
- Use a Hand Mixer
At all levels, kids are going to need a lot of instruction at first, but they will learn and improve. These ongoing skills will help save you time in the kitchen and help your kids learn important life skills.
If you are ready to get your kids started in the kitchen, here are 10 healthy snacks your kids can make today!
What will your kids be most excited to learn?
If you are interested in a Vegan or Plant-based diet, check out my blog at http://veganfamilytravels.com/. You’ll find recipe ideas, travel tips, and many more hacks to make vegan easy!
This blog post is sponsored by The Learning Experience.
Calling all North Phoenix Parents! The Learning Experience at Happy Valley makes early education and preschool joyful, engaging and fun so children are happy to learn, play and grow