Cooking is a fun way to spend time with children of all ages. Young ones typically are eager to be helpers, while older children take pride in creating something on their own. One of the biggest advantages to having your child help in the kitchen is that you can often get a finicky eater to try foods if he has a hand in preparing them. Another plus: If you can get him to eat enough of the ingredients, you won't worry whether he'll eat the end product. This often is true of the child who won't eat vegetables at the table, but will sample them while helping you wash or peel them for dinner.
Here are a few other positive results from interacting together in the kitchen, which are then broken down into age groups:
- Reading and following recipes improves math, science and reading comprehension skills.
- Eating dishes from other countries enables learning about other cultures, foreign languages, and geography, and provides a culinary vocabulary.
- Learning about food preparation enhances organizational and cleanliness skills.
- Chances are greater that your child will eat the healthy food you are making if he helps.
- Cooking together strengthens feelings of responsibility and being a valued member of the team, will form a lifetime of good memories and help to strengthen bonds.
- Fine motor skills are enhanced with motions like pouring and stirring; counting ingredients and amounts teaches simple math skills; and working as a team reinforces socializing, learning how to share, and taking turns.