Cooking is one of the best skills you can teach your children, and having them help out in the kitchen in any way can support healthy development and give them valuable life skills as they grow up.
Cooking can help you incorporate many different skills and assist with their development in many different ways. Aside from allowing them to take the load of your cooking schedule as they get older, cooking with your children has many benefits.
This point is especially important if you have a child who is particularly fussy with the foods they eat. Even if it doesn’t initially get them trying new foods, cooking lets them get up close and personal with different ingredients, textures, flavours and smells. They can learn more about the foods required to make a meal; they can smell and touch and learn to build positive associations with different foods they might not typically even want to be near. If this is the case, remove the expectation of having to eat the food and simply let them cook with it and then you can take it from there when they are ready. But regardless of whether they’re a good eater or they are restrictive with their diet, cooking is an excellent way to engage the senses.
It Teaches Responsibility
Cooking requires you to have all the ingredients on hand, prepare them safely, and cook them. It means you must follow many steps carefully to help you create something edible and protect yourself. You can use cooking to teach responsibility in different ways. From being responsible for using heat to ensuring all utensils are clean and shopping for the right ingredients. Cooking can come with a lot of responsibility and is a great way to help your child develop this skill.
If you want to help teach your child how to be creative and tackle issues head-on, cooking can be a way to get them thinking outside the box. From not giving them a recipe, just ingredients to make a meal from, to figuring out new skills to get the desired result when tackling a tres leches cake recipe like this one, or even improving the texture of cupcakes or gravy, for example. Slowing them the space to figure out how to do something or rectify mistakes can enhance their problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.
Spending time in the kitchen with your child can give you the space to talk and connect outside your usual interactions and can be a great way to support your bond and relationship. This can be a great way to carve out some alone time if you are a busy working parent or allow you both a space to destress and focus on the task at hand whether you tackle complex subjects while cooking or work together since this is a great way to strengthen your bond.
Cooking can provide your child with many benefits, and far from it being about the results, it offers valuable life skills and lessons for both parents and children alike.