Cooking with kids has plenty of benefits for both parent and child. It is an essential self-care skill to possess, and an essential survival skill which would benefit him even as an adult. With the right equipment and guided opportunity to cook, your little one could very well grow up to become the next celebrity chef!
Parents, if you’re thinking of cooking with your kids, look beyond the mess and look forward to the myriad of goodness it brings for the junior.
- Encourages your child to have healthier eating habits
The process of cooking together starts from deciding on a dish to create, researching for recipes and shopping for ingredients. When you cook with your child, you can substitute unhealthy ingredients for healthier ones and makes changes to preparation methods. For example, instead of deep-frying chicken nuggets, you can air-fry homemade chicken and vegetable nuggets.
This influences your child to be more accepting of nutritious ingredients in his or her diet. Healthy eating habits that are inculcated from young play an important part in combating childhood obesity which leads to health problems.
- Cultivates Project Management Skills
Cooking is very much a project which involves various types of skills. Modifying the recipe amounts to suit the household, substituting ingredients, shopping for ingredients to preparation and plating – all these involves a fair bit of calculation and decision-making.
Teaching your child to wash the utensils and tidy up after cooking will teach them to be responsible and be in charge of their own mess.
All these are the fundamentals to essential project management skills that are necessary when your child goes to school and eventually, the workforce.
- Teaches the importance of hygiene
Children who cook together can be taught the basics of food preparation and handling, which includes personal hygiene rules like washing their hands thoroughly before and after touching food and keeping long hair tied back.
This includes simple rules such as keeping raw ingredients separately from cooked food and using separate chopping boards for meat and vegetables. You can use this to explain how others may fall very ill if hygiene protocols are not adhered to in the kitchen.
- Introduces basic Scientific and Mathematical concepts
“250 grams of flour, 2 eggs, half a block of butter”.
Ingredient lists introduce your child to basic mathematical concepts such as weight and fractions. Moreover, they can visualise fractions easily during ingredient preparation.
Cooking is a mixture of Science, Math and Art. Through the various cooking methods like baking, steaming, boiling and grilling, different outcomes to the ingredients can be observed. Having hands-on experience helps them to remember these concepts clearly.
- Encourages picky eaters to try new ingredients
Preschoolers tend to be picky eaters. What better way to encourage them to try new ingredients than to have them create their own meals? Introduce them to some healthy ingredients and how it helps to keep them active and grow strong. Encourage your preschooler to touch, smell and even sample the ingredients while cooking.
For a start, try creating some of these easy and healthy pumpkin dishes together!
Have you been cooking or baking with your children too? Do share some of your best memories when cooking together as a family!