Cooking is more than just a way to keep yourself and the family fed. It can be used as a way to teach children valuable life lessons. Although most parents would love the kids to walk away with a greater appreciation of the process, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Quite a bit can be learned from spending time together in the kitchen. Before emptying the room of people while you’re trying to make dinner, consider what you could teach the little ones.
1. Boost Self-Esteem. Cooking and baking can fill the children with confidence, especially if the meal comes out as it was intended. This boost to self-esteem can influence a variety aspects of life ranging from behavior in public to scholastic studies. This is one of the reasons why some therapists use cooking as a tool to help those with depression or anxiety disorders. It’s a task that has quick results that can play into how people view other parts of their lives.
2. Volume and Measurement Math Skills. A lot of people take for granted that there is a great deal of math that goes into cooking. Being able to double a recipe or measure out specific components is vital if you want the meal to taste like it’s supposed to. This is a great lesson to teach in order to help them understand the purpose behind these volumes. It’s also one of those skills that can be used in areas of life outside of the kitchen.
3. Reading Labels. In order to cook something, you need to know what it is you’re putting together. Reading is one of those skills that can be used in every career. By making the children find specific ingredients, you can help develop this ability in order to improve the many facets of life. Kids wouldn’t want to mix in paprika instead of pepper, unless that’s what the recipe calls for.
4. Creativity in Preparation. Creativity is something that can enhance the world around you. What better way is there to express yourself than using cooking as a pallet? There are a number of ways that children can prepare virtually any dish. From adding a visual appeal to creating new tastes, cooking can be an excellent platform for creativity. The sensation and self-expression can then be transferred into the world in ways that can inspire the kids.
5. Learning Science. Cooking involves a great deal of practical science that could be very beneficial for the children to learn. Things like cakes rising, chemical compositions of components and why you mix certain things together are fun lessons to learn for anyone. Learning how foods cook at different rates could be an invaluable skill to have when trying to prepare a meal all at the same time. Knowing the science behind such things could also contribute to organization skills.
6. Exploring World Cultures. Most cultures in the world can be explored by the kinds of foods they eat. Children can get a sense of different societies by learning how to create specific dishes. For example, kids can learn the vast differences between Mexican-style and German-style foods simply by making each one. This can be a fun project for everyone in the house as the children could make a different cultural dish for each night of the week. It’s quite possible that your own cookbook may be able to help you in this regard.
7. Being Responsible. Most children have the mindset of wanting to be just like the parents. They will want to be as much of an adult as you are. Cooking can be a great way to help instill a new sense of responsibility for the little ones while filling them with pride. From the care of foods to being accountable for their actions, cooking can be used as a gateway to being responsible. Although you’ll want to keep a close eye on the process, giving children more to do on their own can greatly impact their development.
Think About Nutritional Value
Many parents have found that children are more likely to eat foods that are healthy for them if they cooked it themselves. Even the most picky of kids could enjoy a nice raw spinach salad if they had a hand in creating the dish. This could set the tone for a better way to eat throughout their adult life. Instead of relying on sugars and carbs, kids could learn nutritional foods can be prepared in a tasty way.
Children are impressionable when it comes to the activities of the parent. Learning how to cook and why it’s important is one of those things that could greatly impact their lives. There are a handful of companies offering cooking classes for kids. Cozymeal, for example, offers cooking classes in San Jose and some other cities in California. By staying ahead of the game, such as taking kids cooking classes, what you teach may remain fresh and productive. When you’re cooking dinner tonight, consider the impact you could have on the children by engaging them in the kitchen.
Do you enjoy cooking with your kids?