There are so many great benefits to cooking with kids. From developing fine motor skills to learning about healthy foods, cooking teaches valuable life skills and can also help inspire new family traditions.
Raising your kids with a wholesome, hands-on approach to food will help them develop a confident and healthy approach to eating throughout their lives. ! Even mastering simple tasks in the kitchen will give your child a great sense of accomplishment!
Cooking with kids regularly is also a great way to boost communication and math skills, and it’s a lot of fun too!. Below you’ll find some of the best benefits of cooking with kids!
Benefits of Children Helping with Cooking Tasks
Not only will you get a delicious meal, but you’ll also have fun spending time together, too!
Build a healthy relationship with food
It’s no secret that kids like sugar (don’t we all?!) but when they start taking an active part in the cooking process, their taste buds and understanding of food can change. Show them that instead of eating processed sugar, they can enjoy amazing flavors from eating fresh fruits! (Remember: ripe fruit tastes best at the peak of its natural season.) Natural sugars are a much healthier option for kids and something that will benefit them long into their adult lives.
Teach basic math skills
Learning simple math skills through cooking is a great way to give children a confidence boost! Whether they’re measuring out ½ cup of flour or doubling ingredients for a salad dressing, math skills are used in the kitchen all the time!
Make dinner time special
Dinner time offers families an opportunity to have an amazing bonding experience. Use your nightly cooking lessons as a way to explore different smells, flavors, and textures and make fun memories as you cook and eat together. Working through a recipe, setting the table, and navigating dinner conversations are all important life skills. Besides, it’s more fun to cook dinner with a helper!. This is definitely one chore parents shouldn’t shoulder alone.
Help your child earn a sense of pride
As your child continues to learn how to cook, this will give them an enormous sense of pride. Who says you have to spend a ton of money on cooking or culinary classes when you can start with the basics right at home? Build excitement with simple projects that don’t require too many complicated ingredients or techniques. Before long, your kids will have a great foundation of cooking basics that they can be proud of and build on.
Enhance reading skills
The kitchen is a naturally dynamic (and delicious!) classroom. From following recipes to examining ingredient labels, reading is an integral part of cooking, and attention to detail is key. You can start building your child’s reading skills by working through simple directions or ingredient lists together, letting your child read each item and mark it off like a scavenger hunt. More confident readers may enjoy working through a children’s cookbook at their own pace. And once your family feels really kitchen confident, it’s time to start writing your own recipes! .
Overcome picky eating
Teach your child that adventurous foods are fun to try! Kids tend to put up barriers or have negative associations with foods they don’t know — but it doesn’t have to be that way. Expanding your child’s taste buds is a journey, and it can take some patience. By encouraging your kids to try something new each week (even just a bite or two!), you’ll build up a sense of confidence, resilience, and a healthy sense of experimentation. .
Kids are also much more likely to try a meal they had a hand in making. Just remember: Pick your battles, but don’t give up. Even if your child doesn’t adore tomatoes the first time around, the fourth try might be a hit!
Help them grow into independent adults
Planning out daily meals to feed the whole family can feel like a never-ending task. Involving children in meal planning is a simple way to have discussions about food choices and to get their thoughts and input on what to make for dinner.
Getting your kids used to shopping and cooking now will also set them up for kitchen success when they’re older, especially if they may want to eventually tackle more creative dishes. Even complicated recipes will feel manageable if your kids have been cooking from a young age.
Creating a dish for dinner as an adult shouldn’t have to be something everyone dreads. Instead, encourage your children to roll up their sleeves now so that as they get older, they’ll have basic cooking skills that they can use to make delicious food for themselves, and their friends and family!
Stop mealtime battles
If you could feed your kids pancakes at every meal, they’d probably be totally fine with that, but eventually, every parent wants to instill healthy habits in their children. By introducing a balanced approach to eating now, you’re setting your kids up for success later.
Instead of spending hours fighting for them to eat, teach kids the lifelong benefits of simple recipes using healthy ingredients — and give the lessons time to marinate. Include your kids in the cooking process so that they have a sense of ownership of the recipe! This is also a nice way to tackle picky eating habits because your kids are going to want to eat what they helped to create!
You can have conversations about food
Language skills can absolutely improve when cooking. Even if your child is still growing in their language development, they can still communicate about the variety of foods and flavors on the table. Home-cooked meals are great because as you’re getting dinner ready, you can talk to the kids about the entire process. You’ll have their complete attention while you whisk, sauté, and chat and you can even make it a sensory experience by giving them tastes and samples along the way.
Get creative with recipe development
Creating recipes together is a blast! Find a recipe that you can alter a bit and get to work! Who says that simple pancakes can’t have some fun chocolate chips and sprinkles worked in? There are so many simple kids recipes that you can alter just a tiny bit to make them totally brand new! This is such an easy way to take a basic meal and transform it into something exciting for young children!
As you can see, there are so many great benefits when you involve children in cooking activities. With the cost of food rising, make sure to incorporate a wide variety of ingredients that are affordable and delicious. You just may find something that your picky eater loves that you can add to your list of wholesome ingredients to keep cooking and using at home!
The more you include your kids in kitchen tasks, the more they’re going to continue to develop those beneficial kitchen skills! The best part is that along the way, you’ll help to create some really great recipes and make magical memories together! For more cooking fun, your kids will love our cooking subscription box