Here are six reasons why you should invite your pint-size mini-me’s into the kitchen the next time you fix a meal:
1. It gives them a sense of accomplishment.
When your child can serve the family a meal that he helped to make he’s going to do so with a sense of pride. Little kids love to showcase the different things they are able to do, especially things that are normally left to the grownups, and cooking is no exception.
2. It prepares them for when they’re out on their own.
Cooking is a life skill that everyone should learn at some point, and the sooner that kids learn how to do it, the better. This will save them from the terror of moving out of the house and realizing that they don’t know how to cook even the most basic of meals, like hard-boiled eggs or spaghetti.
3. They are more likely to try different foods.
By letting your kids to take part in the cooking process they are much more likely to be open to trying different foods they may have otherwise been opposed to. Since they’re the ones who prepared it, they’re much more likely to eat it.
4. It allows you to teach them about healthy options.
Teaching kids how to cook meals that are packed with flavor but not with calories can play a role in whether they approach food with a healthy mindset or they opt for unhealthier options. This is a great time to teach them about a healthy diet while still eating great food.
5. It gives you quality time together.
Time spent preparing meals in the kitchen together gives you and your child a unique time to bond. It will also help craft memories that will stick with them for a lifetime, and you can pass on treasured family recipes to them or create some of your own.
6. It teaches them basic educational skills.
While learning to measure out different items and cook or bake different meals may not seem like math or science, both skills will come in useful in the classroom as well as the kitchen. Learning basic fractions when you’re measuring and basic science through the different reactions that occur through different cooking methods easily translate back to the classroom.
Above all else, cooking with your child is fun for the both of you. Kids love to look up to and mimic their parents, and cooking together combines this passion with learning. Let your kids become your kitchen helpers and you’ll both reap the benefits of the time together in the kitchen.