The kitchen has provided an extremely rich learning environment for our family, and it’s not just about how measuring cups teach fractions. There are huge benefits of cooking with kids in early childhood.
Parents who want to teach their kids to cook face challenges though – whether it’s feeling fearful about knives and the hot stove, or imagining the mess that will result if you let your preschooler stir together the ingredients. The thought of getting cooking with kids can be daunting, so today I’m sharing some motivation with you as well as my top tips for making it less stressful.
Benefits of Cooking with Kids in Early Childhood:
Empowerment – Life as a young child is filled with relying on other people to take care of you and other people being in charge. The simple lesson of learning to make yourself a snack is very empowering for kids. They learn they can feed themselves and others.
Health – kids who get a chance to cook their own food also are more likely to eat that food. They’re more adventurous in what they’ll eat and more likely to create life long healthy eating habits.
Fun – You’ll love having something you can do with the kids that not only helps take care of what’s for dinner, but also let you connect. When you learn how, it can be fun to cook with your kids and you make great memories.
Helpfulness – Teach a few basic skills and soon you’ll have kids who can help out in the kitchen. They can make their own lunches, cook a simple dinner, get breakfast for themselves or cook their siblings a meal, or even cook a meal for you which rocks!
Math and language skills – The basics of math are a natural part of cooking vocabulary. Talking in the kitchen invites a large range of interesting descriptive language expanding your kids’ vocabulary as you cook.
Communication – Time spent together in the kitchen gives you space for ongoing development of open communication and conversation in your family. Have you ever noticed sometimes it’s easier to talk openly when you’re partly occupied with another task like driving or going on a walk? As kids learn to cook, cooking together becomes another opportunity to get to know one another, or for kids to ask the questions they really need your input on.