17 August 2023
A major part of being a parent is preparing your children for their eventual independence. Being well nourished is extremely important, so teaching kids how to prepare healthy, tasty meals is a skill that will benefit them their entire lives. Knowing how to cook delicious cakes and biscuits will make them popular, too. Here are some benefits of teaching children to cook that you may not be aware of:
When kids start to cook early, they are exposed to different tasks. They might have to cut vegetables, organise crockery, and clean countertops, among many other tasks. By taking responsibility for tasks and getting to see (and taste) the results of their work, they feel a sense of accomplishment. Through cooking, they are acquainted with the concept of having checklists, assignments and responsibilities.
Cooking together will make memories that will last for a lifetime. Even though your kids will grow up to be teenagers, the memories you have made together in the kitchen will last forever. Don’t waste the opportunity to share these precious moments with your children. Not only are you strengthening your bond as a family, but you’re also teaching them essential life skills they’ll likely use in the future. There are not too many activities where you could help your child learn a valuable skill, and at the same time develop a strong and intimate bond with them.
Sometimes young children can be picky eaters and reluctant to try new foods, preferring to stick to familiar favourites. This can cause problems when eating with others and potentially nutritional deficiencies if their accepted foods are particularly limited. However, when a child is learning to cook, they will be exposed to different kinds of foods, and will likely enjoy tasting and trying out dishes they may never have tried without cooking. You can experiment together with different methods of cooking foods and they may find ways they do like foods they previously disliked.
You can take a break from the kitchen occasionally and let the kids prepare you a lovely meal. Obviously, only once they’re old enough for it to be safe and experienced enough that they won’t get overwhelmed. There’s nothing quite like getting home after a long day at work to find that your teenager has cooked a delicious meal for you to enjoy together. You can also split tasks - one of you prepares dinner while the other puts together a dessert.
Your child will have skills they can use their entire life that will help them to make healthy choices. Rather than relying on takeaways and ready meals, they will know how to cook delicious, nutritious meals for themselves, their friends, and their future partners and children. With obesity a growing problem, having a good understanding of nutrition and eating a wide range of foods is more important than ever.