Cooking with your children
By Bianca Pang
Children love to copy their parents, especially when it comes to preparing food they can eat. Cooking with kids can not only be fun and skill-building for later in life, but also, if they start cooking as youngsters, chances are, they will keep it up as they grow older.
Here are some reasons why being with your kids in the kitchen has its benefits:
Cooking encourages healthier eating habits. Kids who are comfortable experimenting in the kitchen are more likely to make more diverse choices in the future when it comes to their own nutrition. Exploring will lead to a more expanded palate and it’ll be less challenging to convince them to try new things. Asking your son to eat greens will be less of a struggle, for instance, if he’s a part of the cooking process.
Being on the ‘meal prep team’ gives kids a sense of responsibility that can help them build independence and confidence. Small children can make no-cook snacks such as tuna sandwiches or ants-on-a-log. They can also use the cookie cutter to make fancy shapes. Older kids can learn how to make simple sauces or bake with supervision.
Recipes can teach them how to follow instructions. Learning to use a cookbook pays off. It teaches kids to complete tasks and clean up in an orderly manner. Buying ingredients helps them practice planning, and measuring develops math skills. The upside is a delicious reward after everything is done!
5 things your kids can do to help:
1. Pouring—you measure, they pour. To them, that’s cooking.
2. Pushing—the button. They’re fascinated when able to turn on a blender after you’ve made sure it’s safe. The roar, and the feeling of power, is so satisfying.
3. Stirring—this can get messy, of course, but it’s doable, even for tiny children. Give them a big bowl and a wooden spoon or a whisk and let ‘em go
4. Measuring—checking the recipe, scooping, leveling, dumping, these are things even younger children can do with coaching. And, like all of us, they get better with practice.
5. Flipping—older kids can flip pancakes or toasted cheese sandwiches on the griddle with supervision.
Source: Canyon Ranch – Connection